Friday, 15 August 2014

Where is the empathy?

Glenn Close said this about Robin Williams.

Robin was incredibly sensitive and gentle and loving. He was very self-critical. During Garp we had a press conference and I was asked to go along with Robin. I watched this quiet man, who I'd never seen reading a newspaper or magazine or watching TV, explode into the press room and do an amazing turn on all the most current events, people and issues. He wove it all into a cohesive whole with no notes, nothing but his genius. It was breathtaking in its spontaneity and brilliance. Everyone was completely blown away. When we walked out of the room together, Robin turned to me with a worried look and asked in a whisper, "Was that all right?" I gave him a long hug and said, "Yes! You were incredible" He checked to make sure I really meant it and then went to his trailer.

The fragility of his character and his genius all summed up.

Have taken a while to post about this I realise but had to think about it. A face of my childhood gone so shockingly and sadly. Apparently people have taken to 'social media' to condemn suicide as a selfish act. Do they have any idea? You only have to skim the surface of mental ill health to have a rudimentary understanding of the depths that people can fall to. Are they the lucky few that are untouched in life by any vestiges of mental health problems. Even if they have no understanding where is the empathy?

A less serious example was a tv programme on i player where people were complaining about the use of mobility scooters. Two elderly ladies were really moaning about how the shopping centre they use gets so busy with them. They did not pause to think how else the people would get around. Would they have them stuck indoors? A lady whose son was knocked down by one was calling for speed restrictions. Had to agree there as have had to move out the way of a 'speedster' every now and then.
I turned it off as just could not tolerate the two ladies anymore. My tolerance is always low when I am tired.

What is that quote about walking in my shoes for a moment to fully understand how I feel.

Every day I get updates from BUAV about the harm we do to animals in experiments. Every time a new shampoo is developed I wince as I picture the animals in labs bred so we may have lustrous hair.
There was a mini video doing the rounds yesterday of a dog trying to splash water onto dying fish. He scraped his muzzle into puddles and tried to splash it onto them. Possibly a fluke or a fake. Or was this animal showing empathy. It was for entertainment but the video overwhelmed me. What must they think of us? A harrowing story told to me about fake/faux fur. A man I dog walk with saw a video of a dog being skinned ALIVE for his fur to be used. He described the look of uncomprehending pain on the dogs face.

I have no conclusion to sum this up. Its just so bloody sad that so many lack a fundamental emotion that could make things better for so many people and animals.


  1. There is always evil around us, as the saying goes. All it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing. I once picked a woman up and shook her like a rat, which is what she was doing to her toddler, all he did was say that he needed to wee while she was chatting.

  2. Sadly there are a great many people who do not for one minute think how their actions affect other people. They don't seem to have the ability to think about how other people feel, or realise that animals feel pain and fear as well. If I think about this too much it makes me depressed so I try to celebrate all the people out there who selflessly go out of their way to make life better for other people. Thankfully there are a lot of people out there like that.

    I'm sure the people moaning about mobility scooters wouldn't hesitate to get one if they needed it. My pet hate is the totally selfish people who park in the disabled spaces when they have no need to. Makes me fume!

  3. Don't get me started. I don't understand how as a race we can't all act with decency and integrity, after all we all know how to behave well and do the right thing.

    Jean x

  4. I've had a really low tolerance the last couple of days so maybe it's something in the air.

    We foster cats and we've had some right old cases come through our doors. Makes you sob x

  5. I saw that video of the dog and the fish! It was as amazing.
    I agree with chickpea I'm afraid. People do not think or care about the consequences of their actions more and more nowadays! It's quite sad really.