Dichotomy between Ideal and Real World: Why suppress Inborn Empathy?

Sivaramakrishnan AStarred Page By Sivaramakrishnan A, 16th Oct 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/qjvbbkb4/
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The bonding of empathy factor keeps our spirits up, gives us meaning, and a higher purpose for our existence here. However, we ignore our inner calling to create a lifestyle that is at loggerheads with the creative purpose. An ideal world is far from reality due to our myopic thinking and action. It is ironical that we turn a deaf ear when other species merge in harmony with nature.

Empathy is the Glue

We realize often that we live in an unjust world, but we tend to overlook injustices that are quite glaring. Most become cynical over time when these persist in society. The sad aspect of the matter is children are told of what an ideal world is and to conduct themselves accordingly, behave properly in the eyes of society around them. Schools also impart the values of proper behavior but too soon they are exposed to a dog-eat-dog reality to become cynical of the world around them and the adults who call the shots. We are bombarded by the media that wealth matters and acts as the barometer of success. The end sort of justifies the means as when one passes the initial milestone they become sort of above law – at least have means to stay out of the reach of long arms of law. Such undue importance given to wealth is a dampener for the empathy factor that is the binding ingredient of society. We can easily recollect few who went much out of the way to help as; also, sadly, those who took advantage of our kindness. Then the foundation and concept of ideal world start to unravel and our awareness erodes over time. The cycle is repeated over generations as we drift into a meaningless life where few set the agenda without conscience. But the empathy factor shines ever brighter when the darkness overpowers us otherwise. So we are not yet beyond repair!

Education Falls Short

The world is becoming more educated in the way we understand the term. But does that process break down the bonds within society that held us together, or at least made us take a U-turn when it really mattered. The breakneck speed we are marching ahead means we are always on a catch-up mode. The world is our oyster increasingly with people moving across borders, where merit and wealth face no barriers. One has to prove educational prowess and if they match needs, they are waved in. But do they define who we really are? Are we becoming digits without souls, sort of robots? Does how education is imparted, standards set, make us less empathetic to the needs of the majority that is the backbone in any society? How can education enhance the empathy factor so that we rise to the aid of the under privileged in society? Most want to eke out a decent life and do not bother how others live with the fruits of their efforts. Should we not repackage how education is imparted so that we become more humane with a clear take we are on an inclusive ride?

Words cannot highlight our Essence

Words, especially when spoken by politicians, mislead us and children can feel lost when they are told to behave in a way they do not see being practiced in an adult world. Even wars are started on a wrong premise; through outright lies even! What we say is acted upon and we know those who lie through their teeth! It is tough to read others’ minds – some have no intention from the start to repay what they “borrowed”! We come with an outer casing that proves thicker than the hard shell of tortoise! Our true essence lie deep inside and some take advantage of it negatively to sow the seeds of dichotomy between an ideal world and the created one that we have to contend with to our dismay! Our Creator has not made it easy, but then why should He? Do we appreciate how much He has done for us to enjoy our sojourn here? That is the epitome of the purest form of love that we enjoy every moment, but are we conscious of it?

Hypocrisy taken for granted

We get used to the ways of our world and hypocrisy is right at the top. It sows the seeds of discontent and cynicism to pin us down. It is spread across our society, within families too such that we have become oblivious to its cancerous effect, the arm lock, it has over us. It is even touted as a necessary ingredient for material success. Another is few spreading canards despite knowing them to be untrue, sort of misleading others to gain advantage. Sadly, countries too are at this game leading even their allies down the garden path. They feel the only way to get ahead is by pulling others down! That such actions are self-defeating in the end cuts no ice with their thinking. Can we not cut that out from our lifestyle and action for an inclusive ride? Look what is happening in Syria – I recall the video showing crocodiles and lions tearing a carcass from both ends! They do so to satiate hunger but for us the driving force is greed! We act as if we are against the forces of creation that is based on inclusivity.

Bridging the Gap

The writing is on the wall – clear for all to see. The lessons have been learned all through history. But few still hold sway over our destiny; take us away from rhyme and reason. However much we try, we cannot fail to hear the cry in the wilderness of our inner voice – step back, ponder and right the wrongs. Empathy cuts across all species – none others willfully kill, hoard beyond their immediate needs, and deprive others on purpose. The fiercest of animals too have a mothering instinct to protect their young from harm even at the cost of their lives. They act as per their inner voice, what is right as per instinct; but though we are placed at the top of the pecking order we swing our arms with gay abandon forgetting that all others also have a right to live. The whole of nature is benign, protective of creation that is dynamic every moment and what a world it would be if only if we paused to ponder our real role that is cast in stone deep inside each of us – we overlook it and live with guilt leaving behind disasters both in terms of our overindulgence, greed and also a lifetime of chance spurned!

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Agenda, Awareness, Conscience, Cynical, Dichotomy, Dog-Eat-Dog World, Education, Empathy, Hypocrisy, Ideal, Injustice, Inner Voice, Media, Nature, Soul, Syria, Wealth, Words

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
Professional accountant. General take on life, business, international news comments

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
16th Oct 2015 (#)

Appreciate your encouragement Mark and thanks for the moderation - siva

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
16th Oct 2015 (#)

Siva, great article and congratulations on the shiny gold star. There are definitely lessons to be learned in this article. I think we have to learn as a society to put greed away and show empathy for each other. There needs to be more compassion in the world. I think everyone is so rushed that they don't take time to think about what is going on around them. I'm not sure how to fix the problem but I definitely know there is a problem. Teachers are so rushed to get all their assignments completed that there's very little time to show caring for their students. I believe they do care but I also believe that they are expected to do what the state wants them to do and there is only so much time in a day. This is one of the reasons I do believe I favor home schooling. My children went to public school but I think if I was going to do it all over again I would home school. I know there's more to learning than just books and tests. Smiles to you today and always.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
17th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Nancy for your kind words of encouragement as always.

Greed feeds on itself and spreads like a virus. I can never stay as a billionaire as where did the wealth come from? When there are billions struggling for a meal to keep their body and soul together, how I can turn a blind eye and live in an ivory tower?

You know about "tiger moms" from Asia who force their children to outdo each other at the cost of the empathy factor. They may get the coveted jobs in the end, but they forget the empathy factor - sort of operation successful, but patient dead!

I feel the ultimate purpose behind education should gravitate back to the very basics - being useful to society. We should look for happiness within than by acquiring wealth much beyond our means - that has nothing to do with the ideals of democracy or freedom - siva

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author avatar brendamarie
16th Oct 2015 (#)

Siva, great article, compassion and understanding need to outweigh greed.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
17th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Brendamarie for your support.

I believe we are given a blank canvas. Though it is full of rich pickings, it is up to us to make the choices. Sadly, we get carried away by the glitter! siva

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author avatar Carol Roach
16th Oct 2015 (#)

such a wonderful piece, you have covered everything

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
17th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Carol - your support is welcome and also the encouragement - siva

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author avatar onenow
17th Oct 2015 (#)

If one's parents do not teach empathy, schools need too. And we probably need to assume that parents will not do so, since as a society we tend to fail in this regard.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
17th Oct 2015 (#)

Yes Onenow. Children get confused when adults talk about goodness, empathy etc, but the real world points to another lifestyle created by us. So they too join the bandwagon to survive.

Time we broke this chain leading to our destruction, nay of creation itself, due to our thoughtless actions - siva

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author avatar Ptrikha
17th Oct 2015 (#)

Somehow, I have seen that the last 10 years have placed so much emphasis on the amount of wealth that human beings are turning as selfish beings who are ready to damage even their near ones for some of their pursuits and treat others as hindrance to their objectives. One of the worst manifestations that I can see is in the way people drive. They drive as if all of the road belongs to them, and driving fast, breaking rules is considered by many to be macho and justified.

At times, I too feel if I have become maddened by the pursuit for material possessions and ignorant of my inner self?

Tough questions, but I know the answer is being empathetic, and considerate of our inner conscience.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
17th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Ptrikha for your input.

Pursuit of material possessions take an iron grip on us over time without our realizing it. When we move up a notch, we find we are still behind others and everyone is then on a catch-up mode.

When we think we have arrived and gatecrash into a million dollar party, we realize we do not belong there just like how a multi-millionaire feels when he walks into a billionaire club!

We can only suppress our inborn empathy, but then it becomes a guilt-filled life - we look for happiness and acceptance through wealth whereas they lie within us - siva

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
18th Oct 2015 (#)

Interesting post!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
18th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Fern, appreciate your support - siva

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author avatar Retired
18th Oct 2015 (#)

You give great food for thought.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
18th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Mary for the motivation - siva

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author avatar spirited
19th Oct 2015 (#)

much food for thought here siva.

"The whole of nature is benign, protective of creation that is dynamic every moment."

I wonder if this is entirely true though.

A meteor could just as well smash into the Earth tomorrow, and all of it might be gone.

I do not think nature itself is protective of anything at all.

That's our label. Nature is just what it is. If we take our place within nature perhaps we could be what we is too...LOL

I get the gist of your writing though siva.

Another great write!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
19th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Spirited for sharing your thoughts and input. I appreciate for adding value to my efforts .

What I meant was creation is ongoing and we are a recent entrant but tend to lord over others. The Creator can delete the "human file" but creation will go on - pity us, we are also dispensable though we may feel creation will be meaningless without us, but that is from our point of view!

The way we behave could well prove self-destructive in the end as "nature will take its own course" as it has done for billions of years. We can well end up as a blip on the screen of the whole creative process!

Nature can carry on by protecting others from us - good riddance, other species will sigh in the end! siva

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author avatar spirited
19th Oct 2015 (#)

yes, if a part of nature gangs up against the rest trying to control it for itself, well I would expect nature to flex its muscles too and squash the interloper as well.

As you say, it's up to us to either show empathy or be destroyed in the end by our own greed.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
19th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks again Spirited - we prove our own worst enemy; nature gives us many a chance, choices, that we are ignorant, unaware, of and even take for granted.

Stephen Hawking has warned that "aliens" can even conquer and subjugate us as power corrupts as we know very well.Talk of nature taking its course!

Yes, we can sort of be "hoisted by our own petard" to recall the words of the Bard - siva

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author avatar Retired
20th Oct 2015 (#)

This took a lot of thought an work. Thanks!!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Jessica, appreciate your continuing support and encouragement - siva

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author avatar vellur
20th Oct 2015 (#)

Wisdom in your words and a lot to think about and learn. Great write. Empathy is almost dying out in the human race and the beastly traits are taking over.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
21st Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Vellur - I saw a heart-rending video how a Syrian doctor had to smuggle out her child by handing her over to a stranger. Finally mother and daughter are reunited in Germany. That she had to leave everything behind and become a refugee is not due to nature but due to evil forces riding roughshod over the majority lives.

We hear everyday of how few dictate terms, but who authorized them? This happens in democratic countries too, then who gave them the mandate to act for the majority?

We may have reached the highest level of political system but the vestiges of evil forces and tyranny still enslave us.

The inborn empathy is suppressed though few still rise from the ashes to keep the fire and flames burning giving us hope that all is not lost - siva

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author avatar Carol
21st Oct 2015 (#)

Your wisdom in your writing is second to none Siva, a lovely post.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
22nd Oct 2015 (#)

Thanks Carol for your motivation - your words encourage me as always - siva

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author avatar Abdul Batin Bey
21st Oct 2015 (#)

Great write and I'm no longer living as as a slave to the grind, I'm just going to do what I want and where the wind takes me. I came to this conclusion a few weeks ago, put in my notice and am ready for the adventure

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
22nd Oct 2015 (#)

Yes Abdul, life is more than just work. Very few people find fulfillment as most end up enriching others and even adding fuel to the fire of their greed!

We should not be carried away by fair weather friends - better to follow our path as what we accumulate in terms of material wealth proves transient - siva

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author avatar SherryeB
26th Oct 2015 (#)

Very interesting article. I feel that the educational system is a very perplexing place for children to be a part of sometimes. The politics and financial issues get in the way of a solid moral foundation for students to build their futures upon. Teachers do try to make a difference but are constantly being repressed into the role of the babysitter rather than the educator as politicians decide more and more the curriculum. Teachers are chastised for teaching real life situations in education. Educators are not being allowed to teach ethics.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
26th Oct 2015 (#)

Yes SherryeB, the real world becomes a nasty place when a minority with ulterior and selfish motives usurp the agenda.

Teachers fight a losing battle when what they teach their young wards do not reflect reality of a dog-eat-dog world that triumphs in the end.

The only way is to make empathy and compassion a byword for our existence and not to worship the mammon like the media highlights as the barometer of success now! Nobody need to accumulate wealth forever especially by depriving others.

I feel teachers and parents should guide the children in such a way that the battle for wealth is not the end; the real success is in building a compassionate society - siva

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author avatar Subra
27th Oct 2015 (#)

Dear Siva, "Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice", said Steve Jobs. That is precisely the problem with most of us - we are so taken up with the external world and the distractions that we sometimes fail to understand the inner voice in us. Many a time the inner voice is so powerful and enduring, yet the rough and tumble of this materialistic world make us oblivious to the inner voice. Sometimes we act on Intuition but not always.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
27th Oct 2015 (#)

Yes dear Subra, people like Steve Jobs show us the way. We should know better than others our true passion, mettle. As long as it does not adversely affect them, why should others poke their nose - we should not allow them.

When we ignore the inner voice it becomes louder and and louder and that leaves a mark on our lives. Those who follow it will have at least the satisfaction of having been true to themselves - siva

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