Empathy (or the lack thereof)

John Coffey
Don’t mind me gang, I’m just having another “John Coffey moment” here.

One of the things that has always amazed me on the web is the complete lack of ability and/or social skills some people have when it comes to relating to a situation, or put themselves in someone’s shoes. No matter how much of themselves a person puts out there… you can always count on an idiot coming along with a clueless remark that simply screams “I just don’t get it”.

Do people NEED to go through a divorce to understand the pain involved?
… or lose a child? Lose a parent? Be stricken with a crippling disease? Raped? Unemployed? Railroaded by the court system? Conned? Cheated? Loneliness? Fear? Discrimination? On the verge of being homeless?

How hard is it to hear a cry for help, and not feel something unless it’s happened to you at some point in your life?

I just don’t get it.
Or maybe I’m just a sap.
Hey, I’m the moron that defended a girl with cancer that didn’t exist, remember?
(Lord knows everyone else does.)

Not to worry, everything is fine here… it’s based on a situation elsewhere.

As easily as I’ve been able to understand where each person “is coming from” over there, and even relay it back sympathetically, they still read someone else’s cry for help and can’t see a point past how it relates to them. They’re even urging someone to continue to take a stand with a “No retreat! No surrender!” type of false bravado.

“We’re behind you 100 feet!”

They mean well, but it’s a type of false bravado in the sense that the person they’re cheering on has everything to lose, and they don’t. They’ll read how his world fell apart right up to when he inevitably becomes a 404 page, and they can then switch to a “What kind of [whatever] are you?” quiz at quizzilla with a click of their mouse.

Incredible.

Live to fight another day, my friend.
Assuming you can hear me over the screaming morons who seem to be more concerned over their comments removed than what happens to your job and family.
But I can’t watch anymore.
I’ve had my fill of ridicule over there.

Come to think of it, I’ve had my fill of ridicule… period.
“It feels like broken glass inside my head, and I don’t want it no more…”

Eric Brooks

Spent 9/11/01 working a 13 hour day in a newspaper, and can probably tell you all kinds of interesting anecdotes and thing you didn't know that happened (like why everything went "commercial-free"), but he doubts you will see Nicolas Cage playing him setting up databases and newsfeeds as a clock counts down any time soon.

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About Eric Brooks

Spent 9/11/01 working a 13 hour day in a newspaper, and can probably tell you all kinds of interesting anecdotes and thing you didn't know that happened (like why everything went "commercial-free"), but he doubts you will see Nicolas Cage playing him setting up databases and newsfeeds as a clock counts down any time soon.
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  • Dee

    you’re wonderful, E. We love you.

  • Kare

    If you’re talking about what I think you are, I echo your sentiments. That’s why I’ve been quiet about the whole thing. If you’re talking about something completely different, well, then never mind.:)

  • Kimberly

    As to the rest of your post, you raise some good points. I SO know what you mean (and it pisses me off, too. *grrr.*)…but I want to comment on a few specific bits (even though I don’t know who or what you’re talking about). So here goes:

    **They’re even urging someone to continue to take a stand with a “No retreat! No surrender!” type of false bravado.**

    I hate that. It’s like “FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT” and you’re like “THANKS, FNUKCER! If it were that easy, if that were all there was to it I would, ya chump!” Gods, do people *really* think that some people are so weak and stupid that they have to hear “keep fighting no matter what!!!” crap from people? It’s like being told to “push” when you’re in labor, but your eyeballs are popping out because you’re pushing so hard! “No shit, dumbass – can’t you see the burst capillaries in my EYEBALLS!?!”

    **They mean well, but it’s a type of false bravado in the sense that the person they’re cheering on has everything to lose, and they don’t. They’ll read how his world fell apart right up to when he inevitably becomes a 404 page, and they can then switch to a “What kind of [whatever] are you?” quiz at quizzilla with a click of their mouse.**

    Yep. It’s like everyone in the world is brave as Superman when they have nothing to lose (or gain) by it. It’s just a bunch of shallow people spewing trite words because it’s “the right thing to do” in these situations, and it makes me sick.

    Ask the person what YOU can do – if you know them anyway, and if they say NOTHING then just listen. Try to just commiserate with them and empathize with them. “JUST FIGHT” is not what people always need to hear when they’re going through hard times. Sometimes, just telling them to do what they think is best, even if it’s to quit fighting is the best thing to do.

    Remember kids, “What’s right isn’t always popular and what’s popular isn’t always right.”

    Sometimes, a big FIGHT will mess your whole World up *worse* than coming to terms with the situation and just finding a way to deal with it as best you can. Wanna know how I know? Ask me, I’ll tell ya. Boy will I tell ya.

    That’s all.

    (P.S.: LOL! I love this: “We’re behind you 100 feet!” but I would have written it this way: “We’re behind you 100 Per cent (erm, per cent is insensitive asstalk for feet.) but then, I would want to be CERTAIN than the irony was lost on no one, thus even the most dense would have a shot at getting the point.

    Hmmm, not the nicest comment after not commenting for a LONG time, I’ll grant you – but I wager you appreciate the blunt, honest kind anyway.

    🙂
    ~Kimberly

  • deb

    I have no clue of which you speak of specifically, but I can promise you that I’ve been there Of course, my schedule is keeping me busy, but others folk’s behavior has kept me further and further away from the web and my own space.

    I keep getting the urge to say fuck it and just go off on my own merry little way no matter what people say. I simply don’t understand how people can be so cold and callous. Of course, part of my problem is that I am empathetic and hurt when others are hurting.

  • -=e=-

    Aw, Dee… I love you too!
    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    Kare: I believe we ARE talking about the same thing.

    But hey, I’m a (mostly) God-believing (usually) Republican dude… they already have me tuned out and dismissed as a “sheeple” that believes in “fairy tales”. Unless I’m agreeing with them, of course, then I’m right and part of the team.

    It seems all they want to do is bitch about it rather than take any kind of action.
    I think less input from me over there is best.
    I’m seen as just a pest there, anyway.

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    Kimberly/Deb… I kinda meant it to be a little fuzzy and oblique, as it applies to many situations (including some of the hell you two have recently been through).

    ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
    “Sometimes, a big FIGHT will mess your whole World up *worse* than coming to terms with the situation and just finding a way to deal with it as best you can. Wanna know how I know? Ask me, I’ll tell ya. Boy will I tell ya.”

    DING! DING! DING! Kimberly gets it.

    “Pride goeth before a fall, and a haughty spirit before destruction”

    Oops, there I go with that Bible stuff again! :0)

  • The Boston Dyke

    I agree…honestly, when I was going through a bad situation last October, I didn’t feel brave at the time, and the people that told me that I “must” leave (even though I eventually did) just pissed me off…they didn’t know what I was going through at home…blah blah blah…

    although, I don’t know what’s worse: having someone tell you what you “must” do without even knowing the situation, or making assumptions about you because you’re doing badly and not bothering to ask why you’re doing badly in the first place…

    (heh…can you tell I just had my review at work?)

  • Dr. D.

    What you here is true guy. Never mind the farts who can’t understand when someone else is going through a difficult time. Their day will come…..that’s life I’m afraid….it changes like the tides.

    Hope all else is cool in your corner of the woods.

  • Reverend Mykeru

    Well, if you are talking about who I think you are talking about, I person I know myself even though we are not always on speaking terms, I just remember the motto of the Spanish Civil War:

    “Better to die on your feet than live on your knees. ”

    Hell, small prices must be paid when people are lying and dying.

  • -=e=-

    You’re a nut, dude! :0)

    There’s a big difference between a tactical retreat and surrender. I’d never suggest surrender.

    I just wanted to do, what I wish people had done for me a long time ago. But I just keep butting heads with people that just… don’t… get it.

    Uh oh… I’m having another John Coffey moment: “I’m sorry for what I am!!!”

  • Kare

    “Well, if you are talking about who I think you are talking about”

    Hehehehehe!

  • Angstman

    admitting right up front that i have no idea of the specific situation(s) you are talking about, i will still throw in my two cents worth…don’t let all this change who you are…as previously mentioned by several others, i hope you don’t pack it in…i have enjoyed this site since i found it, and would hate to see another thing on the web disappear…i totally empathise with your feeling like you have a head full of broken glass, because i have been there before many times…living to fight another day is better than going down in flames, but only if you don’t lose yourself in the process…the only way to really overcome ugliness, and such is to not let it change who you are….hopefully in offering this two cents, i haven’t completely made a fool of myself for speaking out of turn.

  • -=e=-

    Thanks, Angstman… I appreciate that coming from you.

    Me packing it in? Never.
    I change and I evolve with whatever’s going on with the web. I just haven’t figured out what I’m changing into yet.

    With the Kaycee thing, the biggest lesson for me is I need to stop jumping into situations with guns a-blazing and figure out what the hell is going on first.

    But I can’t just stop caring or feeling or needing to get involved. Unfortunately that’s who am.

  • Angstman

    nothing wrong with being who you are…especially when concerning being caring, empathic, etc…you can be sure i will be staying tuned to see what you change into.

  • Nico

    Good entry, but reality is still too embellished, the truth is that no one gives a damn about anyone else. Everyone babble about friendships and how much they love whoever comes in their way, but in the end they don’t care. If your survival is depending on someone else you might as well drop dead right away and stay dead.

  • Kimberly

    Geez fuck. Look who is Mr. Negative these days. You know, sour grapes are not the only kind that grow on the vine.

  • -=e=-

    I know I could have been a lot better friend to Nico these days. He’s been there for me when I’ve needed him. I’m sorry dude.

    Man, I’ve been bouncing all over, and all I see is bad times. Sue, Nico, Red Eagle… Lee’s on hiatus (and well I hope it’s not the same kind of hiatus I normally take.)

    So much pain. Damn.

  • Kimberly

    No doubt e! I sure hope things get better for everyone out there. I would say more – but it would seem trite anyway.

    Also to be honest and selfish here, I am glad my *shit times* are over. *Knocks wood – LITERALLY.*

    Hugs,
    ~K

  • -=e=-

    I am glad my *shit times* are over. *Knocks wood – LITERALLY.*
    I know the feeling…

  • Witchy

    Hey I definitely need to pop in here more often! :o) Being a person who’s had it pretty rough, I’ve never really had any problem in regards to empathy for others. But *if* you’re talking about what I think you’re talking about *where* you’re talking about, then yea, I’m starting to feel a bit unwanted myself. Apparently the floor is open unless you’re a “mythologist” then the target is squarely painted onto your back. (not sure remind me now; am I stupid or just plain ole evil ignorant?) Or maybe that’s just the way I “feel”… I can be a bit too sensitive..it’s true. Lol!