The Power of Empathy

Empathy

I care deeply about the human experience and as cliché as it sounds, making the world a better place.

It is not hard for me to empathise with another persons experience of the world that is different to mine.

I remember my mum always telling me as I was growing up, that I cared too much.  I have been thinking about this recently. Especially with a certain President visiting the UK who shall remain nameless.

You see – if you are not impassioned by something, if you do not feel empathy about a cause, health issue, injustice or inequality (insert your version of this) how can you be motivated to get involved and make change? How often is the case that we don’t get involved with supporting charities unless we or someone close to us is directly affected?

One of the barriers to better equality in the UK is compassion fatigue and a real lack of empathy.

I shared a couple of videos on social media earlier this week outlining some of the regular micro-aggressions racism I receive in my inbox and on social media. I didn’t post it for sympathy, but to give a snippet into my every day experience of the world as a black woman advocating for equality.

Many people chose not to watch it.

Others did.

Amongst to waves of “I’m so sorry ” two responses I received stood out.

1. “I’m sorry – I couldn’t watch this”

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2. “I wanted to spend some time thinking over the whole thing. It’s too easy to say ‘sorry’ and just carry on with life….”

You see, many people also said things like “this is a small minority of evil people”.

You know what? I disagree. People who hold racist or prejudice views are not evil, they are human beings like you and I, human beings who perhaps are angry, disenfranchised, have been raised with different values and living in fear of change and difference. It is TOO easy to demonise racism, because it gives the silent majority permission to distance themselves from it and in turn remain complicit.

Where has that got us?

You see, if you are in a position where you can choose to disengage with inequality or racism you are coming from a position of privilege.

I’ll leave you with a quote that is speaking to me this week:

 

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. E Burke

Whilst I have no desire to protest today, I remain inspired to continue to support people on their journey to dismantling inequality in business, life and beyond. The power is within all of us to make change, not just those who are effected by inequality on a regular basis.

What can you do to help?

On the 26th July I am hosting an online webinar on how to be better and ally and exploring the power of white privilege

On the 2nd August I am hosting a workshop in London on  subconscious bias and how to navigate being a BAME creative and business owner whilst maintaining your mental health.

On the 30th August I am hosting my MOST popular workshop on diversity in business and why it matters

Are you ready to be part of the solution rather than a spectator? Many people feel pretty helpless with the current sociopolitical climate – but there are many things we can all do to help. Real change fundamentally starts from within.

Be great to see some of you there.

Have a great weekend ahead and if you are protesting today, take great care.

Header Image: Clark Tibbs via Unsplash

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