If someone expresses they are in pain, and you can’t rationalize or see where the pain is coming from, is it still considered real pain?
This question is in the same vein as asking if a tree falls with no one around. Did it make a sound?
This kind of questioning requires you to consider that neither of these scenarios are about you.
It requires a line of thinking that is focused on someone else as the experiencer.
Sometimes we are just witnesses and there isn’t going to be a relatable experience we can pull from to sympathize.
Our brains are always occupied with memory and experience so the acknowledgement of another person’s pain, perceived or not, fails to be a priority to our me centered thought processes.
When my Grandma was diagnosed with dementia the Doctor advised she may complain of perceived pain. The disease influences perception in some cases and he assured us nothing was wrong physically with her so we shouldn’t worry about her being in real pain.
He clearly did not put value on perceived pain.
Her kind of pain did not count as real.
He was not the experiencer and he had no way to verify the experience.
His words gave him away without his actually having to say: If you can’t feel or verify the pain yourself- it isn’t real.
He had no idea how to treat the kind of pain he couldn’t understand the source of.
So he dismissed it.
Empathy was not a part of what he offered.
We found a different doctor who understood that to alleviate any pain, first you have to acknowledge it and she has not indicated any pain since.
Nothing was different about the new doctor except for his perspective and that is the only difference that was needed.
America is acting like the first doctor in this scenario.
Different people are experiencing different kinds of pain and discomfort and as Americans we are struggling with how to acknowledge everyone’s experience of pain and transition forward.
There are too many flavors of pain and fear in the mix to sort it all out in a non emotional way and so, everyone is crying out and no one is feeling acknowledged.
Unacknowledged pain results in some people reacting frantically and drastically.
Just because others of us have not felt the need to act out does not mean that others are not experiencing a kind of pain that influences their actions.
All of the actions taken by protesters is a cry for acknowledgement of a particular plight that isn’t felt by the majority.
People who protest and people who riot both want other people to feel their pain by experiencing their actions.
The actions may be different but the cause is coming from the same instinct of wanting to be acknowledged.
The answer we need to come up with needs to be centered around fully recognizing and acknowledging the way other groups are feeling.
First we will need to listen and regain the tone of the conversation.
We have to start with a mental mission of understanding the why behind the actions.
We have to speak in a way that disarms hot emotions and transitions us all back on a path that we all feel comfortable to walk on together towards a common goal.
You can’t do that in a society where no one is listening and acknowledging the other.
It is time to stop talking to each other about our issues and acknowledge someone else’s concerns.
Zig Ziglar said if you help enough other people get what they want you will by default get what you want because you have become part of their solution.
Acknowledgement is always part of the solution.