We Need Empathy not Apathy

“Apathy. What’s hard to understand? They don’t care. Not until it affects them.”

Donna Lynn Hope

For the first few months as an amateur liberal feminist, I responded to offensive comments and sly remarks with, “Would you still feel the same way if it was someone you knew?”

I would gleam with pride as I see them contemplate for a second.

Now, months later I realize the problem in that. Why should something affect us or someone we know and love, to realize the adverse effects on any social, political, economic, ecological, psychological at stake? Why can’t we feel the same pain and understand a stranger? Why do we need it to get personal?

It sounds spiteful to say that we lack compassion, but it’s true.

Here are a few instances where I was put on the spot with pointless questions and remarks that the world will be a better place without. I live in a country, where my religion is the principal religion, where my voice matter, while my peers’ don’t. I choose to use my voice to scream louder than ever to bring about a change in every individual. As a result, I am questioned for choosing to use my privileged voice to advocate for equality, mental health, LGBTQ rights, and against systematic racism, corruption and just anything wrong.

  • None of my family members and close friends are Muslims. Every time I advocate for equality for Muslims, and their basic human rights. I am countered with “Do you have a Muslim boyfriend or something?” Why should I have a Muslim boyfriend, or a friend or even a relative? Why can’t I just fight for someone without having any personal agenda?
  • Another common question I always am asked is, “If you’re so openly advocating for Muslim rights, then why don’t you befriend any Muslims?” It’s simple, I am not an institution, nor do I follow a religion quota. I don’t make friends based on their religion or culture. I will not go and make a Muslim friend just to justify my fight.
  • When I advocate for LGBTQ rights, people question my sexuality. They think I’d be offended. I am offended, not by their question but by their audacity to still think being anything but heterosexual is a joke.
  • When I stand for Black Lives Matter, I am asked if I am not concerned about Dalits, Muslims and every other marginalized community in India. I ask, didn’t you ridicule me for that already?

Many more occurrences come to mind, but my point is made.

We lack empathy. We refuse to understand another without getting something in return. We can’t be so cruel to build a business on emotions and humanity, right?

In actuality, we have a huge fucking empire built on humanity, where they sell corruption and apathy. Where people are exploited and made political prisoners. Where people are killed ruthlessly with word and actions, and further with batons and nails.

We are more interested in who said and did what, and less about the sufferings of the person next door.

Why can’t we each work on ourselves to bring about a revolutionary change. Where we support one another and make this world a better, safer and happier place.