How to build true Kindness? Empathy vs Sympathy, Love in Action.

A very important way to building “kindness muscles” is to empathize with Others’ problems. And don't confuse Sympathy with Empathy.

A very important way to building “kindness muscles” is to empathize with Others’ problems.

You’ll find a lot of people confuse Sympathy with Empathy. It’s true, people are sympathetic (the number of sadists and psychopaths is very small), so most people will have sympathy towards you when you’re going through a trying moment. You’ll here the word “Sorry” quite a lot but very few if any would actually stand and help you. We have a battle between Sympathy vs Empathy. Imagine your friend is in a deep, dark hole.

“Sympathy” means standing at the top of the hole, peering in, and saying “Oh, that’s so hard!” “Empathy” means crawling into the hole and being there with them.

Kindness in Action

Moses, went to the slave labor field and put his shoulder to the grindstone. He felt others’ pain as his own, and helped alleviate that burden.

In 19th century Lithuania, the Jewish community of Kovno operated a homeless shelter which fell into disrepair. Despite various appeals, the community failed to fix the facility. One evening, the town’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, went to sleep in the shelter. He vowed to continue doing so until proper repairs were made. He empathized and felt the same pain like those who were homeless. He left the comfort of his house to go live in the homeless shelter with the homeless.

To toughen this principle of kindness against varying moods and circumstances, the bible states “Love your neighbor” as an obligation. It is a mistake to wait until we’re emotionally “inspired” to help others. People are first influenced by our actions and eventually our emotions will catch up with our deeds.

Everyday life presents myriad opportunities for doing good. Some fun and practical ideas to show Kindness:

  • Greet everyone with a smile.
  • Keep your word.
  • Help someone struggling with a load.
  • Invite friends to dinner.
  • Ask an elder for “wise advice.”
  • Support a interest free loan fund.
  • Visit patients at the local hospital.
  • Care especially for widows and orphans.
  • Call your mother with gratitude for the gift of life.
  • Be careful with other’s property.
  • Offer a human word to the grocery clerk. (“Are you doing okay today?”)
  • Make peace between two people arguing.
  • Serve meals at a homeless shelter.
  • Remove temptations for others to falter — e.g. don’t make it easy for people to steal your things.
  • Offer constructive criticism.
  • Don’t stand idly by when another’s life is in danger.

Loving Kindness is a crucial component of our spiritual-emotional health.

The Dead Sea got its name because — as the lowest point on Earth — water flows in but never flows out. This inability to give to others is what we can likens to the malnourished and withered “walking dead.”

How to build true Kindness? Empathy vs Sympathy
How to build true Kindness? Empathy vs Sympathy

One good way to nurture a giving spirit is to declare each morning: “I accept to focus on the commandment of ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” King David said, “the world is built on kindness.” [Psalms 89:2]

Loving Kindness means reaching out unselfishly, with love and generosity to all.

Kindness is a Fruit of the Holy Spirit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, Galatians 5:22

Showing Kindness is a sign of Spiritual maturity. Loving others with no strings attached.

We can rebuild and heal this world through unconditional love, by doing works of Kindness.

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