Empathy Equals Godliness?
Empathy equals Godliness
Empathy equals Godliness? For some, this is a question. For some, this is a statement. I would like to remind everyone of what the Godly figures were in every religion.
I am a Hindu, but I embrace all religion. To gear towards to the topic, let me exemplify how important empathy is to what we perceive as God. For example, in Christianity, Jesus was not born in a mansion, where he had to lead a painless life. He was born in a stable. Lord Krishna, a God in Hinduism, was born in jail. Buddha was born in a palace but later he threw his luxuries away. Basically, God is perceived as King to us because they did not live like Kings on earth. They felt empathy for people, that's what gives them a kingdom now.
If God in our holy stories suffer, why do we expect a life without suffering? Those who we call Kings have suffered on this very same earth we are living on.
The definition of empathy is not the same as sympathy. Sympathy can mean you feel bad for someone, but empathy means you are in their shoes feeling their pain.
I have taken courses in religious studies while I was in University (as electives). I have taken mostly eastern religion courses, but do have some in-depth information on western religions too.
Every religion teaches us empathy, since the entities we pray were empathic. Jesus, throughout the holy bible, exemplifies empathy to His devotees. Buddha threw away his life as a prince after seeing the suffering outside his castle. Lord Krishna also fought for the suffering of his village. My mother saw this too, and she claims that sometimes when a human shows us empathy, we see God in them. Truly, they may even seem as God himself in disguise (or God sent). What this goes to show is that, sometimes you can portray Godliness by showing empathy to another being. For example, if you give a meal to a beggar, to his/her eyes you are God.
So, why were so many wars based on religion? That is my question. It was clear that every entity seen as God in every religion emphasizes non-violence and empathy. That's a question everyone needs to think about.
As a Hindu, I have a Guru from India that I respect as being that of God sent. He has many followers for his kind words, empathy, and righteous acts. He uses his charity and sales money to donate to third world countries. He went to Srilanka and met the people who are disabled (perhaps because they lost a ligaments through the war), and advised them and gave them alms. He also bought books and bicycles for the students there. I am not telling anyone to pray to him, but I do believe empathy and acts of kindness do go noticed.
I also love the teachings of all other religions too. I particularly love the teachings of Buddhism, where meditation is emphasized. Many people who have tried meditation admit they feel calmer and that they can concentrate better. In Hinduism, meditation is when one concentrates on a God of their choice and chants their names in their mind or orally. However, if you do not believe in a God, you can simply close your eyes for five minutes and just see where your mind goes. For example you can think to yourself, "oh, you are thinking about what happened yesterday. Try focusing on your breathing that is going on now."
Teaching meditation itself is an act of empathy, that religion has given us. Think of the positive elements of faith. What have you learned growing up in the religion you chose? What positive elements did you grasp from it?
All I know is that all religion emphasizes empathy and kindness. Like Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha, we will all suffer at one points in our lives, but we must also learn to be kind in this life regardless.
I know there is a random act of kindness day here in Canada. However, I wish it existed everyday. Then there probably won't be a need to find heaven, because heaven would be here on earth.