Why do these feelings of anger arise within my bosom when certain issues are discussed or brought to my attention? I used to think that I was simply argumentative by nature (not actually the case, I actually hate confrontation). So why I do I post publicly about hot topic issues, even when sometimes the responses I receive are hurtful and make my non-confrontational inner person want to run and hide? Why do I get angry and upset over certain issues when they come up? I can sum it up in a single word:
It is empathy that drives me to post about equality issues, because not saying anything means I am allowing the oppressors to continue unchallenged.
It is empathy that drives me to challenge religion, because I have seen and personally experienced the harm and pain it can and does cause on a regular basis.
It is empathy that causes me to encourage others to start thinking critically, because not thinking through our beliefs is detrimental to ourselves and to society, and knowledge empowers us to make better decisions.
It it empathy that causes righteous anger to rise up within me as I read about yet another male politician enacting laws to limit and oppress women in a nation that’s supposed to be so advanced.
It it empathy that puts knots in my stomach as I see young children being indoctrinated with ideas and beliefs that are not only based on fiction, but can also cause harm and unhealthy views of life.
It is empathy that drives me to address our sexuality, because I was raised (by my Christian circles in general) to believe that girls who had sex outside of marriage were broken and used, and when I hit puberty and masturbated I hated myself for it. The needless guilt and shame I felt about my natural sexual urges is something I don’t want other young people to experience.
It is empathy that drives me to support a woman’s right to make her own choices regarding abortion and birth control, and makes me fight to counteract the negative stigma that hurts so many women.
It is empathy that makes the idea of hell repulsive to me, because the idea of burning people alive forever for ANY crime is horrendous and immoral, and using fear tactics to promote a religion is abusive and hurtful.
When I was a Christian, I wanted to be a missionary because I had been taught that this was the most empathetic thing I could do- save lost souls from the torments of hell. Now I try to save people from the torments of the real world.
This is where my empathy now takes me.