Empathy – weakness or strength?

There was a time I couldn’t stop feeling unbearably sorry for other people, who likely cared a whole lot less about the situation. Just witnessing a rude remark to a bus driver made my heart go out to the driver. In school or work, I downplayed my achievements because I didn’t want to make others discount their own achievements. Peace and harmony are much stronger drivers, for me, than competition and pride. 

It’s not very pleasant to feel bad every time I think someone else feels bad. But does that mean empathy makes me worse off? Most see it as a positive trait – associated with kindness, generosity, forgiveness, and harmonious relationships. I am, after all, generally known as “the nice one.” 

I believe a part of maturing is knowing how to feel bad about something without letting it ruin your day. If not, an empathetic person is bound to get angry or depressed over the horrors happening all the time. 

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