Empathy

I’m sitting in Starbucks. Just watched a teenager drop a piece of paper on the floor, then walk out. Didn’t bend to pick it up. Clearly saw it fall. Simply didn’t care.

A few days ago the wife wrote an excellent column for CNN.com on the lack of empathy among people, and I agree 100 percent. Feel like I see it every single day, whether I’m in Starbucks or Cosi or Panera. People are just assholes. Not all people, or even most people. But many people find it OK to treat others—the ones they deem as “lessers”—like rolled-up balls of shit.

I can’t imagine dropping paper on the floor and not picking it up. Or leaving my trash on a table. Or not giving up my seat on the subway for a senior citizen. I’m not saying I’m perfect—just ask the neighbor who caught me allowing my dog to urinate on her lawn. I’m far from it. But I was raised with “Please” and “Thank you” and trying to show courtesy and respect toward all—not just those people I need.

Ugh.

3 thoughts on “Empathy”

  1. I agree Jeff…see a lot of this as a teacher myself. That being said, in many ways (like everything) it’s learned behavior from the adults in their lives as well.

  2. I agree too. I am a chronic door holder. I hold the door for everyone. People usually seem amazed that I do. I am also a seat giver upper. Not only for old people but for women too. Again, people are usually amazed. I am certainly no saint but there are some things you just do. Eh. I dont want to get into a rant. Lets just leave it at you have a great point my friend.

  3. That kid is a douche.

    But, what shows more empathy*: writing a blog post about an annoying kid or picking up the paper and throwing it away yourself?

    *And in this case, I assume that your empathy is towards the Starbucks employees, correct?

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