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Empathy

There are a lot of people asking for help during this season and I see so many harsh comments about how much money these people make, how they should budget better, how kids need to be taught the true meanyof Christmas (and therefore can deal with no gifts under the tree), etc.

Although my family is fortunate and we don’t require help right now, we easily could have been amongst those asking for it. My husband and I both work and bring in good money. We budget and own a home ( with a hefty mortgage but not more than we can afford) . Bills are paid and the kids are taken care of. While we do enjoy a few luxuries like going out for dinner once a month, we live fairly simple to make ends meet. We have a small savings account for Xmas and emergencies.

This year we had two unexpected things happen that eradicated our savings. First was my husband had an accident that required major dental work. Although we have benefits that covered most of it, but our portion ate up our Xmas savings. This was not cosmetic dentistry, but necessary procedures that he had done at th u of a (most affordable place). Then our furnace crapped out. That ate our entire emergency savings. Luckily we have credit to purchase a few gifts for the kids and a nice Xmas meal but we’ve worked hard to avoid using credit for these types of things.
My point is that even people with the means to save and budget away Xmas money can suddenly find themselves in need of help. If myself or my husband lost our job or couldn’t work we’d be in financial trouble. Not everyone has family, credit, or savings to fall back on. And yes we should all teach our kids the true meaning of Xmas, but honestly, even the most compassionate and understanding kid is going to be a little disappointed when there is no small gift under the tree on Xmas morning whether they show it or not.

Definitely there are some people looking to take advantage of kind souls, and it’s hard to figure out who legitimately needs help. But for most people it’s hard to ask for help and making them feel like crap on top of it is harsh.

Everyone has the choice to help or not, just like we have the choice to keep our nasty opinions to ourselves. But empathy goes a long way and creates a kinder world. That’s important to teach our kids too especially at Xmas.

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11 Responses

  1. YESSS!!!! Finally someone said it!

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  2. Best comment I have read on here.

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  3. Tara Adams Tara Adams says:

    Merry Christmas !!!

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  4. Words from the heart to the hearts of others. Good job poster

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  5. Great perspective, well said

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  6. Marie says:

    Yes, nice post OP.
    Though from someone who has a great deal of empathy for others, lives black and white and has zero tolerance for some people and the bs they put out there – (not talking about you) –

    I wish to point out, that those unexpected, costly and horrific/life changing surprise experiences get the best of most of us when we’re least expecting. They seem to run in threes, sometimes more. Count your blessings. For that is life, and nobody is immune. No one.

    Today’s economic conditions definitely press hard on many peoples nerves.
    IMO – People need to adjust – call it self-correction – and don’t cry about it, eg.; ‘no money for presents’ and the like. Too many of the same ‘whoa is me’ stories posted over and over.
    People need to read the posts already posted by others who’ve written with same or similar plight. This can be done quite easily by their accessing the archives (left hand column) of this site.
    Far too many whoa me stories that go on and on and on … boring already.

    If someone’s personal situation is legitimately dire – they will find a lot of valuable feedback from others, if they would only access and read what others have already posted and much of the feedback given. How on earth do people have the audacity to continue to put these stories out there anyhow?
    Some/many come across as trolls seeking new targets to their pity-party games, in attempt to access and get something from someone or somewhere for nothing, to glom onto something they’re not entitled to. Gross shame… I see some have none of it. Easy to read between the lines of certain posts and see how brash and brazen some people are in trying to access what’s meant for others who truly need a helping hand.
    I feel for some … but not for all.
    Yes, empathy … the world can never have enough empathy. But some peoples bullshit is obvious bullshit – and that’s where other people’s harsh comments come in.

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