3 Reasons to Not Have Sympathy for Sandy Victims

4 years ago

Maybe it’s just semantics to some, maybe I’m splitting hairs but I have a real beef with the idea of being sympathetic. In my mind, and I’m willing to admit that maybe it’s just me, sympathy is both passive and selfish.

Many times we get confused about our own humanity and think that feeling bad on someone else’s behalf is compassionate. We think that if we cry for others or lay ourselves down in sadness that we are contributing somehow. Well we are. Contributing to the useless spirit of self-pity.

Now don’t get me wrong. I would never presume to judge someone, who’s been through the devastation of losing their home, for indulging in self-pity. I for one can thankfully only imagine how bereft and frightening life would feel after such a loss. Especially, if anyone were taken or injured.

It is in the act of imagining another person’s hardships that our natural human emotions are stirred. However, to know that those of us who have suffered so minimally have done so only by the grace of God, chance or whatever you subscribe to is to know that sympathy is an unproductive road to travel.

When our time of loss and grieving comes, do we want someone to cry for us or have the strength to remind us that we are supported?


1. Empathy inspires action. It’s not looking at someone else and reacting with pity or sad emotions, it’s offering strength to someone who’s abilities have been taken away. It helps us to save our own tears for later and get a tissue for someone else.

2. Empathy is what spurs us to go out of our way and see that a hungry person is fed rather than feel guilty for eating. It also motivates sharing and teamwork. It’s what makes the difference between being part of the problem or part of the solution.

3. Empathy is the spark of heroism that each of us has inside to go beyond ourselves. When we are fortunate enough to be able to meet our own basic needs we can go out and be heroes to others.

It’s not always easy to get out there and help someone else. Sometimes it can feel fearful and difficult. I will say however, that for my own experience, EVERY single time I forced myself to work through my apprehensions and fears to contribute to someone else’s life I’ve raised my own sense of self-worth exponentially.

On the other hand, EVERY time I’ve talked myself out of engaging I’ve had to work through the feelings of guilt and self-criticism.

If you feel the same, click here to get involved and find great ways to exercise your own super hero powers of empathy.

It’s in the hardest of times that we must believe in ourselves the most. Keep rockin’ your SEZ and have a beautiful Monday!!


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