Some fella called Robin Dunbar; researched the ‘Gore Tex’ model – the model which states that human beings can only hold meaningful relationships with up to 150 people.
I’d like to suggest this is taken a step further – we can only have empathy for up to 150 people. In today’s age, we are bombarded with the problems and the suffering of 7 billion people. I think that if we emphathised with everyone, we’d all have nervous breakdowns.
That’s why many people are just hardened and desensitised to all the suffering, or suffer themselves from anxiety and depression.
My suggestion is don’t watch the news. It’s all highly subjective news anyway, you’ll never hear about the people being slaughtered in Sudan but if a white person gets shot – it’s headline news.
You can still be kind, do the right thing, and donate money etc. but don’t spend too much time picturing their daily problems and issues, or you’re likely to have a nervy B.
Ram Dass talks a lot about compassion – I’m yet to read / listen to his views on the subject (which are no doubt likely to change my thoughts)