To Empathize, or not to Empathize

I was talking to my friend and was joking about how a life insurance place called me about a résumé I had up on a site. She laughed, and said “now that’s a good career for you if the writing thing doesn’t work out.” I wondered what she meant, but then it hit me. She was right, and I’m not sure if it was a compliment or an honest observation on my personality. It’s true though; I could sell life insurance or coffins. “What do you mean you don’t want insurance? It’s not like you’re going to live forever. You’re going to be dead anyways. Could be today, could be tomorrow. You should be ready.” “Oh you’re not dead yet? Why not get a coffin while you can pick your own. Before you know it, you’ll be dead and your kids will buy the cheapest one possible.” Death isn’t an “if” scenario. It’s going to happen. In fact, it’s one of the few definites in life. And I have an abrasively rude enough personality to admit it and tell everyone else when they don’t want to admit it.

I wonder about empathy. Do I have empathy? I’m empathetic to the animals on those ASPCA commercials. Those are innocent creatures put in their situations by cruel and horrible people. I feel bad for innocents being put into horrible spots by people. Victims of genocide, innocent people caught in the crossfire of non-innocent people. I feel empathy for people in other countries who live in abysmal situations because that’s the only option they have. I do have empathy. I have empathy for innocent people in the world who suffer wrongdoing for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I empathize when I know someone who has a family member that’s ill or passing.

But what makes a person in their principles is to know what their shortcomings may or may not be. I admit that I lack empathy for people to. I don’t feel bad if someone gets in a car under the influence of something and smashes themselves something and killing themself. I don’t feel bad for people who are victims of their own circumstances and not of others. I don’t feel bad when people get themselves into rough spots and complain instead of getting out of it. I don’t feel bad for people who I don’t view as innocent in their problems. I’m not sure if that makes me a bad person. It might, but I’m honest enough to admit it.

Empathy is all perspective. Personally, I’m more empathetic to animals or fictional people than I am the everyday person. Again, I’m confident enough in my short comings to admit that although I’m not sure if that is a shortcoming. Maybe my friend is right though, I’ll check out that career path at a later date if everything else fails. Until then, I’ll share my honest opinion here and have the mass population of people view me as a cold-hearted person.

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