Every day we see one group of people or another protesting because they feel their rights are somehow being trampled. Many of these perceived rights were never mentioned when the founders wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In fact, some of what we now consider universal rights were once considered luxuries or flights of fantasy.
Whatever we view as our individual rights, it is easy to see that, as a culture, we are very quick to defend them when we feel we are being slighted.
No allowance is made for the good intentions of a person or any group who seems slow to recognize our special sensitivities.
We are all becoming timid about expressing personal opinions for fear of saying the wrong thing, or even saying the right thing in the wrong way.
It seems that over-reaction has become the only reaction.
Maybe we need to be reminded of just how impossible it is for any of us to completely empathize with anyone else.
We are each individuals, even though we are members of one demographic or another. Every person’s life is unique. I think it is important to recognize that, both when trying to understand another person’s sensitivities and when we are the wounded person.
When we feel slighted, we need to get into the old-fashioned habit of giving the other party the benefit of the doubt and assuming they meant well, especially when they are obviously trying to back-peddle or apologize for upsetting us.
If someone is trying to see our perspective, though they may fail utterly, their trying should be a good thing, not a further offense.
I can’t expect anyone to fully understand my personal struggles, so I need to be forgiving if someone inadvertently makes me feel worse while trying to empathize with me.
Perhaps we wouldn’t need to walk on the eggshells of political correctness, if we would all agree to stop demanding complete empathy and begin to appreciate well-meaning gestures, instead.
Jesus is the only one who can fully empathize with any one. While we can aspire to emulate him, we cannot hold others to his supernatural standard of compassion. Can we?