Now these two words are used interchangeably to mean the reaction after an adversity but for the purpose of this post,it will be illness.
What we need in life is empathy not sympathy because sympathy doesn’t understand,it doesn’t create a connection while empathy creates a connection and tries to understand.
In 2017, I was brought to the rehabilitation center a friend came over and he said,”Roland,I know what you are going through, I got an accident and was in a wheelchair for a month, so I know what you are going through”(at the time I was in a wheelchair) now that was sympathy because the friend did not know what a paralyzed body is,I mean he got an accident and was back on his feet. I want to think that it was unknown on his part to bring up such an example.Sympathy is like finding someone in a dungeon and you say, can I bring you a sandwich?”
Now empathy is walking in a person’s shoes not literally but showing them that you understand the challenge and want to know how they feel in that way, you have shown empathy
Now there are some friends who come and visit me. Yes whereas I communicate with them,they take an extra step to pass by and know how Iam fairing. That’s empathy. So to everyone reading, we simply need empathy and not sympathy and empathy lifts people even at their lowest. Sympathy says,“its unfortunate but what do I do to make myself feel better. Empathy says ,”its unfortunate but how do I become of service to the person and understand their pain .