A psychopath is an individual that lacks the ability to empathize with others or feel remorse for their actions. I recently watched an interesting movie on the topic called I Am Fishead, which claims that psychopaths tend to do better in business than people who are able to empathize with others.
Psychopaths are completely selfish, enjoy playing games with others’ emotions, and can literally feel nothing watching an animal or another human being tortured. In short, a psychopath feels nothing.
What is the opposite of a psycopath? An empath – someone who feels empathy for everything and everyone on the planet. An empath feels the pain and suffering as well as joy and love of every living thing on the planet.
Empaths have heightened emotions, a comprehensive understanding of the broad scope of emotions, feel a strong desire to give to others, excellent communication abilities, pre-cognition, and a tendency to feel the emotions of others intuitively.
In short, an empath feels everything.
A psychopath and an empath are two extremes of an empathy scale. Empathy is not something we usually think of as being on a scale. People tend to believe either you are empathetic or not, applying it to individual situations.
Jeremy Rifkin wrote a book called The Empathic Civilization, which chronicles the development in human empathy throughout history. He concludes that we are on the cusp of an emapthic revolution to include not only all human beings but the biosphere as well. This is a different kind of revolution – one that occurs inside the individual.
If empathy is indeed a scale, then where on the scale do you belong? Do you feel empathy for people of different races, beliefs, religions, sexual orientations, or, in general, things you don’t understand? Do you feel empathy for all humans, but not animals? For animals, but not trees? For trees, but not a river? Where would others think you belong on the empathy scale? And finally, where do you want to be on that scale?
Answering these questions will lead us down that revolutionary path, reconnecting us with what is true and sacred in this world. Putting our empathic desires into action at every opportunity is the way we will create a sustainable world for all living beings.
Reference: Sustainable Man;