My husband is traveling soon to visit his parents. He of course thinks of little else. I know that when I visited my parents last year, I was totally submerged in thoughts concerning my impending travel. Now that it is my husband traveling, I am rather nonchalant about it.
Now to be fair with myself, part of the difference in my attitude may be that I had not traveled in something like 15 years, whereas my husband visits his parents at least once every two years. Despite that difference, I believe that we are going to react more emotionally to things that affect us personally. It is a proven fact that we are more likely to notice articles in the news that are about topics which concern us.
I remember how when Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, everyone around me was very concerned. I was aware of the danger, living in Israel, which was being threatened with missiles. Be that as it may, my psyche was much more involved, day-to-day, with the birth of my son which had occurred at the same time.
This all leads me to s further point. We have all heard stories of people who do extraordinary acts of kindness to others. I wonder… could it be because these people have managed to feel the needs of others as their own? The ability to tap into the mind and wishes of another would, it seems, predispose one to act in accordance to a new set of priorities.
The difficulty, is, of course, “How do we get to the level where we feel where the other person is?”
Perhaps we must start simply. We must try, at least with family members, to try and imagine THEIR mind-set. This may help us be more empathetic and receptive to their needs.