From C_R_EATURE at Wonkette, what helped to sustain me during this awful, terrible most horrible week:
What the bombing did accomplish though, is prove the value of empathy. In the seconds after the bombs went off, we all saw strangers running into danger to help other strangers. To save their lives. There were people who had training in emergencies – off duty soldiers, police, EMT’s – that ran to help but the fact that Civilian bystanders responded is, to me, very significant. There’s no doubt that it took extreme bravery for anybody to run into that chaos, but for people with no training, no accident experience and no link to the wounded to disregard their own safety takes empathy.
Empathy lets us care about the well being of others. Empathy allows us to look beyond our own individual and group needs, work towards the common good and is the foundation of Civil Society. I’m a big fan of Civilization and I don’t think you can have a successful civilization without empathy. Empathy makes us fully human and it is is the essential thing that the Tsarnaev brothers apparently lack.
Margaret Thatcher said, famously, “There is no such thing as Society”. She was wrong and she had no empathy. Empathy is the foundation of Civil Society and the only thing that sustains us when people with no empathy act.