Monthly Gratitude #3 / by Kiran Umapathy

What I'm grateful for this month is the capacity for empathy. We may assume everyone has a healthy amount of it, but I don't think that's the case. If it was, it's not that we would never hurt others, but I think there would be far less of it going on.

I believe empathy to be part physical and part acquired or developed. You need an acceptable chemical balance to be able to experience certain emotions, but I also think it can be a skill refined through experience, thought and listening.

I don't claim to be among the very best (it's more like I aspire to improve), but I am aware of other people's emotions and am able to project how that would make me feel in the same situation. I would rather understand where someone is coming from than make hasty judgments.

Even though this can put you at a disadvantage with respect to your career or financial gain (I think there are many sociopaths that fare well in business precisely because they are unable to have empathy), I'm fine with that. I'd rather be able to make an emotional connection with my fellow earthlings than pretend that I'm taking a fortune beyond the grave. I'm thankful for whatever combination of genetics, upbringing and life expereinces have brought me to this point.