One of the hard things about being an empathetic person is trying to make sense of those who turn on others. The people who don’t see other individuals as human beings, but as some sort of formless and dangerous “them”. It’s a perspective that is so foreign and so warped, and yet our desire for understanding makes us search for something that we can process.
And usually, we’re not going to find it. We can’t explain why some people turn to cruelty and abuse. There are plenty of people who have been through horrific circumstances who respond to the world with kindness and love. They have a strength of character that breaks through the harshest of adversity. And then there are those who will never look inward. Who can’t look past their own entitlement. Who time and again will pick blind hatred rather than look at themselves or the dominant systems that hurt everyone.
Every time something bad happens, I have moments where I resent feeling so strongly about it. Where I wish I could just shut it all off, even for a little bit. But then I try to remind myself that feeling this way is a strength. That whatever happens, I would much rather be a person who can experience connection with people from all backgrounds. My life is so much richer for having the love and friendship of people different than me. I wouldn’t give that up for anything.
So for today, let’s allow ourselves to feel sad. Let’s embrace it as proof that we are what is good in humanity. Let’s be thankful that we are strong enough to choose connection over fear. And however hard it might be, let’s keep pushing forward and doing good.