When I was younger, I used to see people as “They”. I used to always interpret what they do as “what people do”, then at some point, I just noticed that they are just ME.
I usually never do something, because I want to be evil. It just never goes like this. I never do really consider myself as a mean person, or someone who wants to annoy you. I never really mean to hurt anyone when I say a hurting word unconsciously. I never do really mean to let you down , when I do. I never really mean any bad thing, you ever thought I meant.
It’s obvious, that we consider ourselves as intentionally good people. Even when we do something bad, and we notice it is bad later on..we got our reasons. We always have a reason. I would tell you : I was under pressure, I was stressed, I didn’t like the way I was treated..The reasons are always logical for me.
Yet, we never do really notice that others are just like us.
So when someone hurts you, instead of feeling how evil he is. I just started to feel the opposite. How weak he is!. If I was in his place, why would I do this? ..O he might be stressed because of this and this..may be his personality doesn’t help him to stand up firm.
Sometimes, People put their selves in other people place, but by a hard way. Like saying : If I was in your place, I would have cared more ! 😀 ..well..he didn’t mean to not care, it wasn’t that optional. He just has a different personality.
I am not saying to let everything be as same as it is. I just mean, we need to start to feel Empathy with people.
When I started to learn Islam more, I started getting myself among Muslim groups more. I always hated that they used to assume that the one who is not hijaby in a right way, is not caring about Allah’s rules and that she is bla bla..you must have heard this a lot. As simply, I remember myself in May 2008, My hijab was bad. But I was boycotting TV. lol If someone saw me from outside, may be he would assume I am not religious. Although I was just in my highest learning and changing rate at that time. And may be, he who judge me, can’t stop watching bad stuff in TV, while I could at that point. so from outside..without Empathy, He would have just not appreciate my efforts by then.
Also, when I used to wear wrong hijab, I never really meant to wear it wrong! I Swear !. It is just that I didn’t really realize it. It might be I knew a little about it, but I didn’t realize it by that way that makes it clear for me. So I hate it when you just think we mean it, when we do something wrong. We don’t mean it.
I will give an example, I am not sure it works for you. Is music Haram? I guess most of my followers follow that it is okay to listen to music as long as words are Islamically acceptable..
But, there are Hadiths and Many fatwas that says that Music is Haram!
At this point, while we listen to our favorite music. We don’t mean to sin!..we don’t mean to disobey. We just are not “realizing” that it is haram. So now, I got some information that says it might be haram, but as I can’t realize this, I am just doing it. But not because I mean to be bad..just I am not oriented to this.
but who knows, may be after a year or two ..or I don’t know. I would feel it is haram 100% and that I should stop. Can I at this point, look at people who listen to good words songs..and feel oh criminals?! oh disobeying people..sinners ! Or, I do already know how they used to think because I was at their place?.
The music example is really hard as I do listen to music now lol.
so you might apply more empathy for example. If I got a boy friend..Ouch no ! I don’t ! ..but if I do, may be I know it is wrong..but what is controlling me, is not that I want to sin. It is that I love that guy and I am attached or whatever!..
so if you came to me, with no empathy..and just assumed that I am bad for being bad. I won’t change. I will just be categorized differently, and the gap will increase daily.
While if you understood my weakness and my feelings, you can really get me out of my crisis by making me realize the issue by many ways. The “HOW” is not the topic anyways.
Another view about Empathy, is to help you forgive. Someone hurt me, He hurt me so bad!..but I know he did it, because..Oh Okay of stupidity lol, but not everyone can be smart lol..He was pressured, he was weak to his thoughts, He actually has this issue about acting before thinking..or may be he wasn’t having e enough empathy to help him not to hurt me..and so on. So this type of thinking, makes the problem is not about you anymore. It is not like ” how can he treat MEEE like this!”..it is not about me..as it is his issues. He got issues, so he would do the same with anyone in front of him. Yes, sadly it was me. But the whole problem is with his issues..so you start feeling sorry for him..and sometimes It ends with me praying for him lol.
Empathy helps you in realizing reality as well. I am not perfect, same as people. So when people let you down, it is not hurting as before. As you already know they are just like you!. They do mistakes, they are weak.
It also helps to touch people’s hearts and help them in getting a better life and a better community. As instead of being a prisoner in our own community by people judges, we will be giving a helping hand to each other. We will be more open to speak about our insecurities and worries. It will be easier to change everything to a better way.
When I started volunteer work, I used to enjoy this. Every mistake is forgiven. When anyone in the team did anything wrong, they used to remind us. That as this is volunteering, for sure he didn’t mean it.
It is very relaxing to be with someone who always give you an excuse instead of a a judge. When you are late, he is worried about you, he just assumes may be its the traffic, may be he slept over..instead of feeling ” He is not respecting me !”..no he is just late ! ..he didn’t mean it.
Yet, speak about it with him , but how you give excuses, make the argument different.
I just love it when I am with people who never assume that I had a bad intention.
“You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.”