103. Is upward solidarity a thing?
I am occasionally saddened, sometimes even shocked, by our (modern humans) general inability to empathise with those whose lot is worse than ours. This is a generalisation, unfair to some as they all are. Some people do empathise, and even do much more to help than the occasional, guilt assuaging direct debit. But, for the majority, empathy with the poorer is a very sporadic, even chimeric thought. I am not surprised by this. To empathise, you have to put yourself in the place of the other. And practice makes perfect. We have built an aspirational rather than compassionate society, in which our reveries are spent imagining how great it would be to be rich and famous. This is what we practice, and therefore, where our skills are at. And so, we create a strange aberration, upward empathy. We feel more, and identify more with, the pleasures of the wealthier than with the suffering of the poorer. In doing so, we give up action and solidarity in exchange for inane, voyeuristic window gazing
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