A recent flood near where I live put many people’s homes and businesses under three metres of water. The natural disaster left the community devastated, and left me scratching my head at the judgement that came from some people towards the victims of the flood. Instead of feeling compassion, people pointed fingers, saying they should have been better prepared, moved their belongings to higher ground and not been so reckless. Even the volunteer emergency rescuers were criticised for either not doing enough or not getting to people quickly enough.
This is not the first time intense negative judgements have been launched at people who are suffering, instead of offering support, understanding and love. So, why do we humans often instantly jump to blaming and shaming people, even the victims of shattering trauma, instead of being compassionate?
Dr. James R. Doty, clinical professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, and the Director of the Centre for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, has the answer.
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