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Old 04-24-2015, 07:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cd View Post
She surprised me by laughing at me giving some coins to a homeless man. We had a discussion about it and she admitted that even if this man was indeed homeless and hungry, she did not care.

I've always held the belief that empathy was an ingrained human trait that we are all born with. Studies show that even rats show empathy amongst one another. Do you think that we are all indeed born with the same amount of empathy, and that we lose or gain it based on how we are affected by changes in our lives ?
We certainly are not born with empathy. Babies are born with zero empathy, and have no ability to think from another perspective. They gradually develop the ability to think from other perspectives and to empathize. Some of the development of empathy is learned, and some of it is hardwired in genetics. After all, somewhere around 3% of men and 1% of women are psychopaths (lacking normal empathy or concern for others).

Empathy didn't fully develop in me until I was about 19 years old. The thing is, most people have to be able to provide for their own needs before they can be concerned with the needs of others. It's my opinion that life is a process of gaining empathy for others and expanding our sphere of concern. As children, we are motivated by wanting to avoid punishment and achieve rewards. If we develop, our motivation gradually changes towards wanting to do good for others; otherwise we remain as psychopathic children.

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Is empathy a learned emotion ?
If not taught that violence is wrong, i wonder what our true nature would be.
I think back to how cruel that children can be to one another, and especially to animals, such as cats. One fellow i work with killed a cat by placing it in a microwave.
The other day, a random lady at my other (unpaid intern) job whipped into the parking lot and didn't see a light post. She smashed right into it, and badly crushed the front end of her SUV.
My co-workers were just a few feet from her as it happened.
Rather than rushing to see if this woman was alright, they all began to laugh out loud at the woman. She hear everything, and was extremely perturbed.
I'd like to say that I just work with a bunch of jerks, but more and more, I have encountered this lack of compassion for others.
My sister saw a bird in the road once that was flapping around with what she thought was a broken wing. As she she got closer, she could see that someone had cut the birds wings and left it bleeding there.
As she tried to help this bird, she looked up to see that a man was videoing here.
He quickly drove off, and she came to the realization that he was the one that had done this.
I was thinking of why it is that empathy is looked down upon in society, as a feminine trait.
Perhaps it is because in order to survive and thrive as a male ages ago, you couldn't have empathy.
It was survival of the fittest, with brother killing brother.
Manliness is defined as being violent.
Empathy for ones own "tribe" is ingrained in our genes, and lack of empathy for other tribes is just as ingrained. Sporting events are merely simulated battles, and we come together as a tribe to cheer on our team, and delight in the misery suffered by the opposing team (tribe).

Empathy is both influenced by genetics and developed by learning, and our empathy extends as far as our ability to consider others as part of our "tribe". If we take a world view that all people are related to us, then we might have compassion for people in other countries. If we see animals as occupying the same kingdom as us, then we have compassion for them.

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Old 04-24-2015, 07:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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What is your honest reaction to this seat belt commercial ?

I'm an old man and yet I had tears in my eye.
Just my $0.02, and my own bias/experience/overthinking. I think there is more going on there, and it is kind of "fantasy". This man has a daughter and wife who empathize with him and care for him. He isn't a "disposable" man. Your lady friends probably don't get it, and would likely deny that is it to the end.

Or something like that.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Your lady friends probably don't get it, and would likely deny that is it to the end.
She could be among the 1% of women that are psychopaths. If it were me, I'd stop seeing the girl so that I could free up my mental, emotional, and financial resources to being with the girl of my dreams.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:25 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cd View Post
I've always held the belief that empathy was an ingrained human trait that we are all born with. Studies show that even rats show empathy amongst one another. Do you think that we are all indeed born with the same amount of empathy, and that we lose or gain it based on how we are affected by changes in our lives?
Infant and toddler studies seem to indicate that we are born being able to empathize. As early as the late 90s researchers had discovered that infants cry when they hear other infants crying, and cry louder than they do when disturbed by other loud sounds. However, it isn't until we are several years old that we can feel empathy intellectually.

As far as the commercial, it sounds like you and others here had the reaction desired by the producers of it. It is, after all, specifically designed to provoke an emotional response, from the characters in it and their relatability to the style of music, imagery, and setting.
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Old 04-25-2015, 02:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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It is, after all, specifically designed to provoke an emotional response,
Sorry - nerd alert - your comment made me immediately think of this line in Blade Runner
( skip to 2:14 in the video )


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Old 04-25-2015, 03:16 AM   #16 (permalink)
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She could be among the 1% of women that are psychopaths. If it were me, I'd stop seeing the girl so that I could free up my mental, emotional, and financial resources to being with the girl of my dreams.
My 'girlfriend' had an abusive childhood, and this no doubt had an effect on her emotionally. We went to the C.N.E. in Toronto when i went to see her, and we went on a roller coaster. I was puzzled to see that even this did not make her happy.
She smiled when i looked at her, but she wasn't screaming and giggling like the others around us. Later as i was lying beside her about to get ready to depart, i looked into her eyes and saw a tear.
This was very touching, as I thought she was crying because she loved me and didn't want me to leave.
I said " What's wrong sweetie ? Why are you crying ?, to which she replied " I have to go to work tomorrow .
I painted a portrait of her, made a necklace, a ring, and even made a small castle for her.
All gifts were like " oh that's nice...( changes subject )

I don't know if i mentioned this on this forum, but one of the coldest things i recall from her is the reaction I got from her one day when I sent her a large vase of flowers. I live in Austin, Texas, and she lived in Winnipeg at the time.
I sent her the flowers early that day, with no texts or calls from her. Later that evening I called, thinking that the flowers were not delivered.
I asked her how her day went, and talked with her for a few minutes with no change in the tone of her voice over the course of the conversation.
I then asked her if anything special came for her that day, to which she responded that " Yes, you sent me flowers"

She is extremely emotional when it comes to other things, such as anger. She chased down a fellow that cut her off and tried to confront him. She hit a parked police car in the process.

Perhaps having too much empathy has caused me to stick with her. I'm still stuck in the belief that I can somehow 'fix' her with enough love, but it hasn't done anything but drain me.

Funny you should mention the financial bit.
Knowing that no woman wants a man that is poor, I cashed in my company stock and with that money, invested in a stock that has since been rated as one of the best stocks of that year.
My problem i that the stock fell before it skyrocketed. With this being my first experience doing stocks, i was scared into selling when the stocks dropped.
If I had held, I would have made over $180,000 - and still growing to this day.

My company stock had never gone past $ 30 a share in the decade i was with the company. Wouldn't you know it, but the stock more than doubled after i pulled out.
I had over a thousand shares.

So i lost thousands of my money from the sale of the stock, hundreds of thousands had i held, and the continued loss of the shares from the company.

I now fret over the cost of light bulbs, and haven't had a haircut in months to save money. Yeah !

Women are expensive, eh ?
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:28 AM   #17 (permalink)
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She could be among the 1%
You must not live in the US Otherwise sound advice.
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Old 04-25-2015, 12:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My 'girlfriend' had an abusive childhood, ...........
I now fret over the cost of light bulbs, and haven't had a haircut in months to save money. Yeah !

Women are expensive, eh ?
your situation is sad in my eyes, because I've had similar relationships, been there. I was told I have a codependent personality. those relationships didn't last very long. my wife and I are hitting our 10th anniversary in Dec so there is still hope.
I listened to a podcast this morn on the way to work. it brought out emotions in me because of my relationship with my son from another marriage, been there.
the commercial was targeted to the male obviously and it touched me. many times have I driven without my belt, so, been there.
I wear it now so it touched me.
I've cut my own hair now for over 18 years. the 3 sets of clippers I've gone through have paid for themselves many times over.
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Old 04-25-2015, 03:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I've cut my own hair now for over 18 years. the 3 sets of clippers I've gone through have paid for themselves many times over.
I've paid for 3 haircuts in the last 15 years. I would try it once a year for 3 years in a row, having to fix it each time. After that I have never been tempted to have my hair cut, and consider it a complete waste of time and money.
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Old 04-26-2015, 12:23 AM   #20 (permalink)
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In 2 days, the anniversary of a friend's death will arrive once again. This will make 5 years since that tragic day, quite possibly one of the Top 3 worse days of my life. There is a chance that Jesse, my friend, could have walked away if he would have been wearing his seatbelt.

But alas, things were not so. When his truck started to roll in the freshly tilled tobacco field, he was ejected. His trucks then rolled over on top of him. He didn't die on the spot, but it left him basically brain dead, totally reliant on a vent for the rest of his life. Rather than see their son as a vegetable for the next 5, 10, 20, 30, 50+ years, they decided to pull the plug.

I was supposed to have meet up with him that morning at the local country store, well before the time of the accident. I blamed myself for years, that if I had just went to get that Mountain Dew, that he would be alive. That was a hard thing to forgive myself of, and it took several years. On top of that, I felt as if I had to remain strong for my other friends at high school. They needed the consolidation, and I could provide. Prideful of me to squash my own feelings, and it resulted in me breaking down in auto-mechanics the next day, laying on the floor bawling for over 45 minutes. It took 2/3 of a can of Grizzly dip to get me halfway calmed down.

I'm not sure why exactly I wrote all this. This is just what has flowed out from my fingers and onto the keyboard, for all to see. I guess subconsciously I hope that this story will persuade someone, if only one, to buckle up before hitting the road. I know I do.

Thank you Cd for posting this. And no, your man card is not revoked for tearing up

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