Empathy is like a garden. It has to be nurtured to grow. For good health it needs to be watered.
I walk past this parking spot almost everyday and this morning I wondered, “Why do we need to keep being reminded?” To constantly cultivate empathy we also need reminders.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have signs like this one—otherwise we might not reserve spots like these where they are needed. No matter how good we think we are, we are forgetful. And, unchecked we can forget important things like this.
Beyond being mindful of others and being inclusive, signs like this one in a parking lot also remind us that our human experience isn’t the same.
That we need to still have care in consideration. Empathy (or the lack thereof) is a about how well we wield our power.
When we have power or means to impose ourselves and our way, do we choose it for the better of others? The last sentence is a problem in itself.
There’s a dangerous subtlety we need to address. It’s the thinking that being empathetic is makes others better and not ourselves.
I think being considerate of others actually works more on us and not those who receive from us. It makes us better people.
I hope that I wield my power, whether it’s time, money, knowledge, privilege—whatever, well.
I, we must cultivate empathy. Nurture and cultivate this garden.
I hope to be a better human. A better neighbour.