Unfortunately, because we get bombarded by stories of trauma and travesty on a daily basis, we’re at risk of desensitization.
Seeing commercials about suffering children used to be alarming. Now they’re “normal.” Hearing about disasters or shootings used to be rare. Now they seem to be commonplace.
Nearly every grocery store line I go through is asking for money for some kind of charity. They’re all deserving. But I usually say, ‘Not today, thanks.’
There seem to be problems everywhere. And everything seems to be urgent.
The University of Michigan did a study of attitudes among college students between 1979 and 2009 and found that there was a big drop in empathy—to the tune of 40%!
And yet Proverbs 14:21 says: “blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.” But do you know what? I think we’re getting desensitized.
But I think the antidote to being desensitized to everything is to be compassionate about something. Maybe not everything, but something.
Some of you think I’m not being radical enough. And you’re right. But the risk with desensitization is that we tune out… everything. Because we’re overwhelmed and bamboozled, we just mentally turn it off and walk through the haze with blinders on.
So if this is you, to turn the tide and re-engage with the needs of our world and the people around you, start to engage on a compassionate level with something.
The antidote to being desensitized to everything is to be compassionate about something.
By Matthew Ruttan