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Compassion And Empathy During A Crisis

For many of us, the global COVID-19 pandemic is the first time we've ever experienced something of this magnitude.

For others, they've suffered through far worse.

Compassion and empathy are words we're seeing a lot lately directed down by our world leaders.

We see wide-spread stories of people hording food and goods, and preventing others less fortunate from purchasing these items.

We see stories of people in line ups at stores grumbling and agitating each other.

And there are those stories of people selling good on sites like Amazon for astronomical prices in order to make a profit.

Compassion and empathy are essential human emotions at times like this to help each other get through this trying time.

Many of us are grateful to have the ability to work from home; your neighbor may not be able to and will suffer financially so helping them acquire essential food and goods shows empathy and compassion.

Many are grateful to not yet be affected directly by the coronavirus; offering to help your friends and family with anything they need to get them through these times shows empathy and compassion.

Many of us have elderly neighbours; checking on them from time to time to ensure they have everything they need and are feeling healthy during this time shows empathy and compassion.

During this unprecedented time, where it seems the entire world is in shambles, we need to keep compassion, empathy, gratitude, kindness, and understanding top of mind.

During this quickly spreading pandemic, it's up to all of us to bare in mind that while we grumble and agitate each other while waiting in lineups to stock up on essentials, there are those on the receiving end to endure the endless grumbling, blame, and yelling.

What gives you faith in humanity is when you see stories of people and communities coming together to care for those who may not be quite as 'able' during times of chaos.

In many cities, retired healthcare workers are coming back to the job temporarily to help lessen the burden of caring for those needing the help, and allowing their younger co-workers a much needed break to take care of their own families, and themselves.

In many cities, stores are opening an hour earlier to allow the elderly a more comfortable, and safer, shopping experience to purchase what they need without the elevated excitement they would have to endure with younger, more nimble shoppers crowding around them.

People are putting together care packages containing essentials for those who really need them, including seniors.

Volunteers are stepping up to help and comfort the elderly and take care of children who can't go to day care. 

Remember the store clerks who were grumpy to you when you were waiting in line to purchase your own necessities? They had to interact with hundreds of challenging customers while working twice their normal workload. Have some compassion for them.

Paying kindness, empathy, compassion, and gratitude forward goes a long way to helping bring communities together and gets us through these trying times.

This isn't the first event of tragic proportions we've been through. We've survived worse including wars, and other pandemics over the decades with less medical knowledge and equipment.

This won't be the last time we're faced with something of this magnitude.

Show a little kindness, compassion, empathy towards your fellow citizens and we'll come out the other side of this pandemic being better people ourselves.

photo Amanda Nieweler
About the Author
Amanda writes for WhistleBlower Security about ethics, compliance, workplace culture, and whistleblower hotlines. Amanda brings her nearly two decades of risk and compliance experience to the WBS blog where she is dedicated to helping people and companies promote speak-up cultures.