Cultivate Compassion and Empathy

Cultivate Compassion and Empathy
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The dead body of a mentally challenged young man was found in one of the orchards of Kashmir. The man apparently had consumed some poisonous substance and died. The death of the young man is in the nature of a tragedy and could be held to be symptomatic of a wider and a deeper problem in society that pertains to mental and emotional health. It stands to reason to state that mental and emotional health is something that is precarious and tenuous especially in a place like Kashmir. In general terms, anyone , at any point in life can lose his or her mental and emotional equilibrium. Humans, being human, can handle stress only up to a point. This ability to deal with stress and tension varies from person to person. Some are sensitive and thus fragile; these hapless people can easily slide into emotional and mental disequilibrium after being under a given degree of stress and tension. Others are more resilient but all people, across the world , are vulnerable, in one way or the other. (Sometimes, the reasons can be or are genetic). Given this and the very important fact that those in the state of mental or emotional disequilibrium suffer immensely, society must be extra empathetic toward these victims. But, instead of empathy and a helping hand, what is often and generally observed is that society becomes callous vis a vis the mentally and the emotionally challenged. This callousness is in the nature of a double whammy. The victims of emotional and mental disequilibrium are already sufferers. Society’s callousness adds manifold and compound this suffering. (It may be speculated here that the young man in contention here might have been this double victim) This is both wrong, unethical and against the moral framework of our religion. These people need love, compassion, care and empathy. It is perhaps through these virtues that they might lead a semblance of normal lives or even get healed. Admittedly, taking care of victims like these is not easy. It is, in fact, easier said than done. The onus of care is usually borne by families who , too, suffer at a range of levels. But , families of victims of emotional and mental distress must take recourse to patience and take care of these. But, ultimately, the onus lies on society. The first step would be to accept the issue and not actually blame the one who is suffering. The second would be to cultivate compassion and empathy toward these for it can never be known or foretold, who can be next.