A couple posts ago, I talked about 5 different things that I learned over the pandemic. In this post, I want to dive deeper into one of those 5 things: learning to have empathy.

We all have our own vision and perspective towards life. It’s the way we look at things due to our unique experiences from our past, or things we are experiencing currently. These experiences shape the way we act and make decisions in our present, which will, in turn, shape our future as we make more decisions.

A couple weeks ago, around the 1st week of January, I found out that a family friend of mine has been diagnosed with ​something. I do not want to reveal their name or their diagnosis to keep their identity private. I’ve known this friend for a really long time and he/she is pretty close to me. I’ve noticed some slight changes in my friend in the past couple of months and I ended up just getting annoyed sometimes with things that he/she did. He/she wouldn’t tell me some things and I noticed that he/she sounded a little off sometimes. Once I found out about this diagnosis, everything began to make sense. Things that he/she did, said, and felt all made sense and I was able to put the pieces together. This moment was an eye-opener for me. I was truly in a state of shock for almost 4-5 days and I did more research than ever before. And most importantly, I began to approach people with a sense of empathy. Trying to understand that there is more to a person than what I see and hear.

Learning to have empathy is definitely not easy. Trying to look into another’s life and understand it without knowing half of the things they are going through is not easy. But it’s worth it. It allows us to respond appropriately to situations. And most importantly, it helps you keep your own emotions in control. Instead of getting mad or frustrated at something without understanding the full thing will only hurt you in the end.

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