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Old 10-26-2013, 08:00 AM
 
Location: An Island with a View
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Generally speaking, do you find more people lack sympathy and empathy these days or even worst that some would find misfortune of others amusing?
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Crusoe View Post
Generally speaking, do you find more people lack sympathy and empathy these days or even worst that some would find misfortune of others amusing?
I find that people are quick to show sympathy by their comments, and make statements about how we all need to help. However, when it comes down to actually helping, those same people are long gone.
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Old 10-26-2013, 04:51 PM
 
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^^^^I would agree with the above. I do think that there are many people who are just too self-centered (basically
spoiled brats and that can include adults) as well as being insecure. BUT, if tragedy or misfortune should occur they would make a complete 180 degree turn.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Crusoe View Post
Generally speaking, do you find more people lack sympathy and empathy these days or even worst that some would find misfortune of others amusing?
Yes, but I also find that their are more people looking for sympathy and empathy and often, they are the cause of their own issues and more often, the people they seek the sympathy and empathy from have attempted to counsel them a million times on how to avoid being in the situation(s). And, perhaps, they find the misfortune of others "amusing" because they have told them a million times to avoid that.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Central Jersey
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Yes, I suppose it could be true, but I chalk it up to two contemporary phenomena:

1) People tend to encounter scammers more frequently.

If we think in terms of what might be for many an "idealized" past, say 1950s America, it was less common to see someone on every urban street corner with a hard-luck story. We didn't have email pleas and media campaigns vying for our "sympathy dollars."

And when you did encounter apparently suffering people (like during the Great Depression), you perhaps felt more inclined to act on charitable impulses because there was more likelihood of the petitioner being genuinely in distress.

Of course, this wasn't always the case in the past. In Dickens' London, for example, there was a lot of suspicion of the poor, but Christian charity (of an admittedly moralistic sort) made up for some of the difference.

2) With modern tragic events (9-11, school shootings, etc.) I think some people use black humor (which would seem on the surface to reflect lack of empathy) as a shield against the daily media bombardment of tragedy we're exposed to.

Nobody in the past would have been expected to bear more than one or two awful stories at a time. And maybe sometimes our modern mordant detachment carries over into "real life," unfortunately.
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Old 10-26-2013, 05:36 PM
 
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with familiar people/surroundings most people are quite helpful, tho because of tv shows- cant remember the name,,but people were always missing.....someone would stop and ask to use the phone, because their car broke down,,,,then they find the nice homeowner robbed and chopped up in a garbage bag down the road...

after seeing this,,,i have my guard up at all times with strangers,,,,,doesnt mean i dont help them,,,but im more protected- i had a knock on the door at 10;30 one night,,i answer the door with a 12 gauge shotgun at my side
they wanted to use the phone,,,,-car broke down,,i wouldnt let them in the house..

the sensationalism of tv, has hardened my trust towards strangers,,,, the one exception is single woman,,,i will help them,,,less of a worry then strange guys
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Old 10-26-2013, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Crusoe View Post
Generally speaking, do you find more people lack sympathy and empathy these days or even worst that some would find misfortune of others amusing?
I just think tv and movies make it seem that way sometimes.

In real life I don't think most people are amused by others misfortunes at all.

I'm sorry if someone made you feel as though they are laughing at your pain
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Old 10-26-2013, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
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I agree that there is a certain level of empathy that a surprising number of society has these days especially when it comes to the less fortunate. It wasn't until I found myself applying for and receiving food stamps to help keep myself and my son fed that I saw how much people judge those receiving assistance especially on forums like these. People assume that those of us on assistance are lazy, unemployed, purposely have kids to get more aid etc when the truth is that most of us receiving assistance are actually working but because wages are so low and cost of living is so high there is barely enough money to pay for the roof over our heads and keep the lights on let alone money to buy basic food. I know there are obviously people that do fit the stereotype and abuse the system but I'd have to say the majority don't.

The same lack of empathy shows when you get folks that have good jobs with college degrees and they look down on those of us with only a high school diploma, often telling us that in order to get ahead in life you NEED to go back to school and get a degree because without it you will never amount to anything. Perhaps we didn't go to college because we couldn't afford it. Perhaps we had to work right out of high school to help support our family. Perhaps we were not the scholastic type that thrived going to 4+ more years of school.

Just goes to show that this country is quickly becoming a place of the "Have" and the "Have Not" although the "Have Not" folks outnumber the other folks. Revolution is imminent.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:06 PM
 
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I do think we've lost a lot of empathy, yes.

We're a very big country in an even bigger world...divided by physical distance, regional and local differences, socio-economic barriers...and even at home we are less inclined to know our neighbors.

Add to these the new world of anonymous opinion on the Internet, the narcissism of social networking...everything is increasingly about us, and the "thems" out there barely seem real when they are just words on a webpage.

When judgment becomes too easy and generalizations are often the closest we get to real information about others, empathy suffers.

Sympathy, in my opinion, hasn't changed as much, since that is generally more reserved for people we know personally and fairly well. But loss of empathy is much more destructive to us as a society, I believe.
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:14 PM
 
624 posts, read 782,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainGuy74 View Post
I agree that there is a certain level of empathy that a surprising number of society has these days especially when it comes to the less fortunate. It wasn't until I found myself applying for and receiving food stamps to help keep myself and my son fed that I saw how much people judge those receiving assistance especially on forums like these. People assume that those of us on assistance are lazy, unemployed, purposely have kids to get more aid etc when the truth is that most of us receiving assistance are actually working but because wages are so low and cost of living is so high there is barely enough money to pay for the roof over our heads and keep the lights on let alone money to buy basic food. I know there are obviously people that do fit the stereotype and abuse the system but I'd have to say the majority don't.
If it helps, I empathize. You and I are in similar situations. Keep telling your story, is my best advice. You'll find you're not nearly alone as you feel, once you put yourself out there. We also have to insist on being heard, so people can't pretend we don't exist to suit their own narratives.
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