I’ve come to accept some limitations.
After a certain point, I just don’t feel it’s healthy to watch the news anymore. I mean, I want to be informed, but I can’t stop caring about what I’m learning about in the process, and said data never ceases to be distressing.
I have the same issue with individual people: after a certain point, it just becomes too fucking much. I need to isolate, process, find my center so I can assure myself that I’m not losing myself in this maddening mess of masks. I have a bottomless bucket of fucks and donate them far too liberally, in a fashion far too reactionary.
So involuntary empathy can be a very unhealthy thing, yes — but so can the other extreme, and it seems to me most people are more oriented towards that other extreme. Even with respect to people who are in a position in life they were formerly in, which one would think would provide conditions most fertile for empathy, people have amnesia to a mind-blowing degree. And with respect to those fundamentally different from them? It seems nearly impossible.
And I hope I’m just being pessimistic. Prejudgemental.
And it’s not as if I wish people were as insanely hypersensitive as I am; I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. Other people, their emotions are chaotic and seem largely focused on themselves. Too much of that, particularly in large groups, like at work, quickly becomes intolerable.
I remember encountering what I reckon to be my extreme opposite, which doesn’t represent the majority of the population, but the minority we call psychopaths. Or sociopaths. There is a distinction, or so I’ve heard, but I’m unclear what it us. In any case, around them I felt eerily calm. I felt little to nothing from them and it was a strange sort of relief.
I need some of what they’ve got. They need a dose of what I have. That’s all.
I guess what I’m saying is: we could use a part-time experiential exchange program.