All Empathied Out
Is it just me or, has anyone else noticed that in the past decade or two, the word “empathy”, a term once seldom heard, has perhaps become the most over-hyped and certainly, most over-used word in the English language? Not long ago a major newspaper featured an article written by a “leading” child psychologist on how best to raise our children.
The words “empathy” and “empathetic” appeared numerous times throughout this rather lengthy screed, supposedly giving expert advice to parents for the best way to rear their children. Unfortunately, words such as “caring”, “love” and “helping” each other weren’t mentioned even once.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines empathy in the following way: “The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” This seems rather advanced for a young child (and even many adults) to understand very well.
Empathy is not a bad idea, but just as obviously, it isn’t nearly as good as teaching our children to love, care for and, actually help their fellow human beings. Teaching a child to treat other people as they want to be treated, the so-called “golden rule”, is plainly easier and a much more effective action-based idea for not only a child, but for any of us to grasp. With this simple idea, we can actually reach out and be nice to someone before they are first nice to us, rather than just feeling for their situation.
Why in the world would someone with a PhD in psychology believe that empathy is a better idea than love? Consider what is best for a homeless family. If we empathize with their situation or, if we actually help the family get a home or at least, a warm meal? Can anyone name a better idea than what Jesus taught us, that we should “love one another”?
One is reminded of the story of the Good Samaritan, the “illegal alien” of his society, who not only empathized with a badly beaten robbery victim, he went way out of his way to actually help him. Meanwhile, the religiously vain and hypocritical walked on by and ignored him, while one might suppose, a child psychologist stood there and empathized with him until he bled to death.
Even though the American founders had been schooled in the Bible, which was taught at every grade level, including university, somehow we are supposed to believe today that the First Amendment means we can’t teach our children anything the Bible says. Thus, we are stuck with teaching them weak and ineffective scraps from the intellectual dog pile, instead of what are in every way much better and easier to understand ideas.
Today in American classrooms, children are taught to study hard and earn good grades, so they can earn a scholarship and eventually, obtain a university degree so then, they can earn more money. No one dares teach our children that the truth will make us free and, this is why we should study hard or, that we should love our neighbor as our self. Because of course, such is branded as “religion” and, something the American founders were supposedly against allowing in public classrooms.
And thus, our children grow up to worship material wealth and are taught to honor billionaires, as if they have accomplished anything worthwhile. Rather than for example, great men and women like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Eleanor Roosevelt and Albert Schweitzer. Who not surprisingly, based their words and deeds on what Jesus says in the Bible.
Today far too many media pundits, preachers and politicians, all products of our immoral American education system, vainly imagine they know more than infectious disease experts. And, angry parents at school board meetings, try with all their might to ensure that their children never learn a word of truth about our own history and heritage.
Meanwhile, young children who are the real adults in the room, hold up anti-pollution signs because, for some strange reason, they don’t want to burn or starve to death in the near future. As American poet Bob Dylan once sang, “the times, they are changing” and, teaching our children to empathize with, rather than to actually love and care about their neighbors, isn’t likely to change our march towards planetary Armageddon any time soon.
Contact author: www.FreedomTracks.com