Empathy, Love and Attachment

Empathy is the need of the hour. Empathy is not limited to the offer of physical solutions to anyone. Empathy is unconditional and beyond the community, class, age and region. We tend to confuse empathy with attachment. Empathy without love is meaningless and dry. Love makes things simple, easy and effortless. Without love things are complicated, difficult and heavy. When love is unconditional it becomes precious, when love is limited to a particular person, place and community, then it loses its value. Love and empathy together make one’s life worthy, useful and helpful for humanity. Many a time unconditional empathy and love got conditioned to an individual or group. Then it becomes difficult for a person to focus on the task and duty of serving the world.

Empathy used to derived from the emotional feeling “the world is a family”. As long as one is engrossed within one’s own experiences, feelings, pains and pleasures, it becomes difficult to empathize with others feelings and situations. Empathy means to be sensitive to one’s own feeling, but not to be confined or captive of it, rather to go beyond to understand the pain and feelings of others. A person with selfish feeling overestimate one’s own problems and underestimate the problems of others. A self-centered person gives more priority to one’s own needs, feeling and desires, and ignore the emotion, feelings and requirements of others.

But the problem of empathy and love is attachment, when a person gets hooked up to a particular thing or person, then virtue converts into weakness. There are several stories in history on how one lost position, popularity and prominence with the weakness of attachment. Attachment develops bondage, obligation and duties to fulfil. Then one gets stuck, caught and fixed to an individual rather fulfilling the duties for humanity and the world.

Some service providers such as teachers, doctors, nurses, counsellors etc become victims of such bondages. It needs understanding, daring and innovation to keep the self engaged in a positive way “I am for the world and the world is mine”. Then one can fulfil the emotional needs of the millions.