18 July, 2016

Make the effort to care

I saw a meme on social media the other day. It said, “People will never understand something until it happens to them.”

This is true. But the lesson doesn’t end there. Just because it hasn’t happened to us, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try our hardest to understand what it might feel like to experience this. We have to try to understand, whether it is on global terms, trying to put ourselves in the shoes of refugees from Syria, or on personal terms about how our friends who are parents feel after sleepless nights, or for them to make the effort to find out how we feel when they start a sentence with “as a mother."

If we don’t make the effort, we’ll never care about anything outside of us.

If my infertility has taught me anything, it has taught me that.


  1. Yes! Relationships would be so much stronger if we all did this!

  2. YES. Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes. I will never forget the moment when a (former) friend who had basically avoided anything related to our infertility throughout her first pregnancy, including asking why I hadn't come to labor & delivery to see her (REALLY?) wailed to me that "It's not like there's a HANDBOOK for how to talk to you about all this, I just didn't know what to say!" She couldn't put herself in our shoes at all, because our shoes were scary to her. And I ABHOR the whole "as a mother" sentence-starter, because it makes anything I or anyone else who doesn't have children for whatever reason immediately seem like somehow our opinion is lesser because we don't have that mother piece to us, we don't feel quite as deeply (is how I interpret that). More empathy. I absolutely love this post -- small but packs a punch. Great food for thought!

  3. I completely agree.

    The problem is, I really don't have a lot of faith in people to figure this out on their own. Most learn empathy by going through the storm. It's only when they feel pain and exclusion that it dawns on them that maybe others would too. And don't get me started with the pain Olympics.

    Empathy is a skill many lack at the moment. Emotional intelligence is fairly low. So though I agree, I believe we also need to step up the teaching efforts

    1. Oh, you're exactly right! We're not very good at figuring this out on our own. There are a few people I know well who are pretty bad at this! But I guess this is just a good reminder to all of us to think about others, as much as ourselves.

  4. Oh yes, yes, yes to this. And I think that is part of the problem in the world right now. No one is even trying. They're just talking and walking away without actually engaging.