Developing Empathy and a Greater Capacity to Love and Be Loved

Developing Empathy and a Greater Capacity to Love and Be Loved - GBF BlogHow often do you temporarily let go of your own needs and see the world through the eyes and heart of being a citizen of the world?

This would mean taking a vacation from yourself and realizing the benefits of being more inclusive of ‘the other’ and wanting to feel, need, and think more about how they are. This gives you the best chance to care for them. It also sets up optimal conditions for them to want to do the same for you.

Ask yourself two questions:

• How much do I inquire about my capacity to love the world and those suffering more than I have been taught? 

• How much of this inquiry have I been able to develop, and how might I take the next step?

Is this familiar to you or more of a new reality?  

If it is familiar, you will likely know there is no end to maximizing this potential. It is an endless opportunity that will be with us our whole lives, no matter what conditions we face. This is especially true when we recognize that no one should be compared to anyone else — every little bit matters, and each of us has different opportunities.   

If this is not as familiar to you, then it will likely require an act of will to break the conditioning that has limited you to thinking beyond the more traditional values of success and loving only those closest to you.  

This is not being presented as a moral standard. On the contrary, it is an opportunity that seems self-evident — the more we open our hearts and selves to others, the more potential fulfillment life offers us. It is a remarkable observation that life rewards us when we are considerate, generous, and caring toward others by internally creating a good feeling.  

Developing our caring capacities is its own reward, especially when it isn’t prompted by guilt, pressure, or moralistic standards. Instead, it is seemingly most often inspired by a natural or internal instinct. Other times, from observing others close to us being more fulfilled and inspired when they open to care for more than themselves and their small groups.

It is important not to think of this dominantly in a conceptual way but more as a concrete expansion of small steps, interactions, and intentions that each of us is capable of. It can be a smile, a hug, an email, a change in your tone of voice, or something of greater impact.

The key is not to pressure ourselves, but at the same time, not put our heads in the sand. We are at a time when our country and the world are clearly endangered by the accumulation of most of us as families, individuals, or smaller groups only taking care of ourselves dominantly. This leads to a vast group that could be called “the others,” which makes it clear why we are facing so many dangerous dilemmas when you multiply it across the world.

There is a part of almost all of us that realizes that we are here to love and be loved. It is often suppressed by our experience in the world — our childhoods and relationships. This is when we must remember and inquire whether anything else makes sense as a central motivation for living beyond survival and success.  

Why is now the time for us all to develop empathy and care for others?

Life has been telling us through natural disasters and the mass tyranny, corruption, and lies in the world that there are people who, in a significant way, don’t respect the truth. These groups are not motivated to be inclusive in supporting the livelihood and opportunities of more and more people to have a chance to survive and thrive.   

That is why it is important that we start recognizing the importance of uniting in a common cause to support the freer process of governing — especially after what has begun to happen with our democratic nations. 

However, since there are so many different views of democracy and freedom, we risk being divided and warring amongst ourselves. The basic assumption of trust that our purpose is freedom and justice for all has been made into a dangerous half-truth from the start.  

The poor class, minorities, and the homeless have never been treated equally. The rationalization that bigger businesses’ success will trickle down and take care of the poor is an obvious myth. There needs to be international and national laws that channel money and opportunities to give jobs to everyone capable of being self-sufficient. This needs to be more intuitive to major capitalists as the mere concept of freedom has been idealized. 

The idea of treating all people equally in terms of opportunities has been a crucifixion of democracy.  

Our challenge for love on a level of relationships also needs to be translated into economics. We have created programs that could care for the poor, the homeless, and immigrants. None of these programs would require any more significant amounts of money from the government. Instead, it would more creative and inclusive to help restore economic balance along with intelligent planning.   

If you’re interested in knowing more, please check out The Global Bridge Foundation’s work on reducing homelessness by offering low-cost housing and work opportunities. 

We’ve explored this before, but there is plenty of money and resources to support everyone on the planet. Moreover, with the gradual but serious consideration of the moves necessary for global warming, a global power brought in by all the member countries could easily create standards in trade and cooperation agreements — the motive being international and individual survival.

By bringing our intentions, heart, money, and communication to include more and more of the planet, we are doing our part to help us all survive and thrive. This is a bit of a lobotomy for all traditions to really serve us all as brothers and sisters, practically and emotionally.  

This will require sincerity and strategy, compromising on approaches to each significant decision with new international guidance. This won’t happen until it’s clear that we’re all in a sinking boat, going down together. 

Denial needs to give way to open eyes and hearts.

Each of us needs to see that we live in a new era where our interconnectedness is obviously more of our life purpose than we could have ever imagined. But, again, this isn’t from idealism but simply the will to survive and address the issues that threaten us all, even if we have yet to realize it.

This will require forming a large band of international cooperation where only those who cooperate will be partners in more expanded ways than we have seen. The power will need to be given to an international body, perhaps an expansion of the United Nations, but will be dependent on and run by a comprehensive agreement with all civilized nations.  

This will form a power that includes nuclear, technological, resources, intelligence, and compassionate realism. Nothing short of this can help us fulfill our potential to live in a healthy world, recognizing our interdependence in a visionary yet grounded way.   

We’ve explored how the world could go about setting up this global power that drives mutual cooperation, trust, and growth in our World Survival series — please do check it out to gain a clearer understanding of how setting up such a World Body could help us move in the direction of peace and harmony.  

How can you, in your own way, support the new reality of thinking and caring globally in your local environment? 

Can you see yourself increasingly asking “the other” questions like: What do you need, and how can we provide opportunities to help you help yourself?  

Can you see the expanded potential for you, your inner circle, and the rest of the world to develop this capacity?

It is our money, natural resources, and intelligence that needs to be shared at a most important level for us to be able to pull this off. You don’t have to be wealthy to see this; it is easier if you aren’t.   

However, there are a growing number of the wealthy that are realizing that humankind needs to find a motivation that has a certain percentage of focus on this international and individual opportunity for all. This is where religion, spirituality, science, politics, business, philanthropy, and psychology need to come together.

As John Lennon says, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”   

At this point, it’s not so much coming from a dream out of love but out of the necessity for survival, opening our eyes, and taking new actions. We each are a power when we individually realize this potential.

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