Best You Guru™

Divided

The country may be divided, but are you divided? Do you live a life of integrity remaining true to your authentic identity? Too often, we become internally divided and live counter to our authentic identity. We are born with genetic code and inherent greatness. The critical factor in living your potential is to remain connected to you and build upon that foundation. Do not trade your greatness for societal expectations. Differences should never become divisions. Being different from those around us should not divide us from each other or ourselves. 


Dangerous Detachment

We have become destructively detached from one another and ourselves. One measure of our detachment can be found in our empathetic responses. A person’s empathic response to the plight of others diminishes with emotional detachment. To understand others and ourselves is critical to self-development. Empathy is critical to the advancement of humankind. To understand others does not mean we have to agree or accept their differences as ours. Empathy is being aware and sensitive to the experience of another. Empathy is vicariously experiencing the feelings and experiences of others. Empathy is often confused with sympathy but there is a difference. Sympathy is an understanding of another person’s situation but viewed through your personal frame. Sympathy is the version of a situation or feeling with little understanding of the person experiencing it. Understanding that a ten-pound weight fell on a person’s big toe is much different from feeling the pain of a ten pounds weight falling onto your big toe. Understanding is critical to have empathy. 

 Empathy

Research by psychologists Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner shows a correlation between the lack of empathy and social environments. Wealth, status, segregation, and other social barriers may create a lack of empathy among individuals. Research conducted by The University of Michigan, published in 2010, indicates university students of today are less empathetic than students of the 1970s. One of the causes may be media exposure but one thing research shows us is there is a diminishing level of apathy in our society. We should acknowledge the damage it does to us whether it is from wealth, status, social media, or a combination of many factors. All those things may separate us but what divides us is us. Wealth, power, status, social media, and other attributes of a modern society must be used as tools to unite and not as weapons to divide. We must not lose ourselves in what surrounds us.    

The development of your authentic identity requires empathy. Without empathy, you lose touch with the truth that humans are interconnected and interdependent. We need the sense of being a part of something larger than ourselves. We need one another. We have the capacity to feel what another person feels. Maybe not with the same depth of pain or passion but in a way that allows us to feel rather than just know. We are naturally hardwired through mirror neurons. Functional magnetic resonance imaging shows that regions of the brain light up when we connect with another person’s pain or distress. The universal truth is that we sink or swim together, receive mutual benefit from helping each other, and have more in common than we sometimes admit. If we fail the empathy test, we fail ourselves. We must step outside ourselves and help people without losing our own perspective. This will help us build the connections that allow healthy relationships which are an essential element of mental health. We need each other. 

Action step: 

1) Physically place yourself in an environment or situation that makes you uncomfortable, not unsafe, just uncomfortable. 

2) Get into a political debate with a good friend and switch sides in the debate. Since they must be good people because they are worthy of your time. So since they are good friends, you should try to understand why they feel and believe as they do. 

3) Ask someone why they feel, believe, or live the way they do. Let them know they are important to you. Let them know you what to grow and learn more of them so you will understand you better. Let them know you care. Allow your ears and brain only to be conduits of information. Listen with your heart. Do this with love. 

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"Best You Guru" and "Best You" are Trademarks TM of Harry and Robin Shivery. The use of display of these trademarks are at the sole discretion of Harry and/or Robin Shivery.

 

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