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The World's Compassion

The sad truth about this world is, that it has little compassion, especially among strangers one either interacts by intention or by coincidence. Neighbours can easily open a rivalry with you because of a minor controversy; some hot-blooded drives might even get out of their cars in the middle of the road just to confront you for not driving like they want you to. Others do not care for your sensitivities and may resume doing whatever bothers you, within your presence. And last of all -- people online won't hesitate to harass you for doing (or not doing) something they expect you to do, as if you owe them anything, and many other examples can be given.

That is what you get when you put rugged individualism over the values of decency. Many people in this world are rugged individualists, AKA people who put their own whims over the influence on others. As a result, there seem to be less and less reason to be compassionate, or at least considerate, to anyone who is not your family and friends. Therefore, it seems that we have retreated to tribalism, even though we live in an ultra-connected world.

After all, if someone is not a person you know or value, like you value a family member or a friend, why should you actually care whether or not your insults hurt their feelings? Why should you care about a stranger's less-resilient mentality, if you get to say whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want? Sure, that person may cry or at least be angry or anxious because of you, but the influence of your actions should not matter, as long as you yourself get to feel good and comfortable!

In other words, as the world gets more divided and more toxic, it is safe to assume that the world is becoming less and less compassionate, simply because we put the "sanctity" of our own whims over our effect on those we are too apathetic to care, whether they were hurt, or even, whether or not they were driven to suicide by our actions. As I heard in a short recording of Slavoj Zizek, the renowned Slovenian philosopher -- he was asked by someone who was interested in his teachings, to help him in some personal stuff. Zizek replied: "Why should I care. Kill yourself".

Being insensitive is a privilege not everyone gets to have, and overall, it seems that the world is run by insensitive people; by those who think that being too sensitive is childish and immature; that being a considerate of others, like a civil human being means being "politically correct". And thus, the sensitive are shoved to the corners of society, because the world does not care for your feelings; it cares of whether or not you're doing your job, paying your taxes and so on. Your public existence is but a function you fulfil, not your own honesty, which you are often expected to keep for yourself.

Why should it hurt, technically, to be a little kinder to others, not because an omnipresent being shall condemn you to hell if you don't, but because of your own sense of conscience; your own sense of self-dignity. Even after actions such as bullying and shaming have been proven to be harmful to society and to the victim themselves, these are things that keeps existing, both in the real and virtual worlds, as if it's all just for the fun of it. The fun of it, to create mental illness in one's mind; for the fun of it, to wonder why they have, unfortunately, killed themselves, just because their own self was too eccentric to be tolerated by the company around them.

Where are the heart; the genuine concern for an equal human being. Of course, this is not a universal generalization, nor an attempt to say that humans by nature are toxic beings. It is just that the notion of sensitivity has been put to shame by those who are too unwilling to understand, that sensitivity isn't something that one necessarily achieves by desire. It's something that already exists within the person. Why then, call them a "snowflake", or an "over-sensitive" person, if they were simply born that way?

Is it truly a shame to be born with certain characteristics that you're not responsible for having them? People, at large, don't choose to have the traits that cause them to be tormented by others, whether it's sensitivity, sexual orientation, mental disability and so on. If some of your traits interrupt the order of the public world, then you will be condemned for it, as if it's your fault; as if you've done something horrible.

In general, strangers shall care more about what's wrong with you than what makes you a decent human being -- especially the mistakes you make, or the imperfections that are carried within you. This is why, in another article I wrote, it seems that we live in a "not-okay" culture, AKA, a mindset that puts the idea that, by default, things are not okay, or things are not supposed to be as they currently are. Therefore, others will attempt to change the course of things, in order to fit it more to their own liking, regardless of how that course influences others in the process.

And since most of things are not under one's control, all that they have left is to use shaming and utter disregard, in order to influence the world in their own image of what a "proper" world is. Whether it is on the topic of religion, politics and so on -- you probably have no idea how some people hate you right now, simply for you being a certain someone with certain traits and tendencies. This also includes, being a "snowflake", AKA, a highly-sensitive individual.

What is the solution for all of this? How do we bring more love into this world, in order to make it a more welcoming place to live for as many people as possible? The answer is this: as Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world". However, that won't be enough if you wish to optimize your own influence.

Simply being kind to your neighbors won't change much beyond the local sphere of the street or neighborhood. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the age of content creation, where anyone's words can reach even the most remote corners of Earth, and I can attest to that from experience. It's why I became a philosopher, why I built this website, and why I invest heavily in advertising—to influence the world by being myself, and exposing my thoughts to anyone with an internet connection, to browse, read, and delight.

When you have things to say that you believe are important, saying them to your family and friends isn't enough. Perhaps, then, the problem of hatred and intolerance simply comes from the combination of rugged individualism and tribal altruism. It comes from the unanswered question, "Why should I care about others that I don't have an emotional connection with, when I can have the freedom of being an ahole?"

Thanks for reading. And now, a heart-warming track to get you in the mood...

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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