Feeling sorry for someone when they are enduring hardship is not as important is making a contribution that solves problem before they encountered. Development occurs when the condition of the human being and their environment is consistently and positively improved to the extent that it makes them perform their duties with relative ease and also live happier lives. In a large part many technological innovations provided by talented and insightful people have contributed the most to the course of human development. Inventors are driven by their ability to properly placing themselves in the situation of others, this act then translates itself into the process of generating new ideas and commitment to converting those ideas into useful products. The products positively affect the situation of the people who first inspired the inventors idea in the first place. Empathy should be viewed as the most powerful intellectual ability that lies between an individual's creative nature and their ability to benefit society with specific talents and products.
So without empathy towards one another, can there be a society in the first place? And can a society even attempt to develop? The obvious answer is that abject poverty will win, Africa ranks the lowest on the human development scale, it is because there are far more people in Africa than other places who do not care about their neighbours. Having concern (not compassion) for ones neighbour is in our own rational self interest, its not a favour at all, because time and space is not controlled individually but rather collectively.
The tools for engaging and overcoming that which has the potential to set us back will remain the same over time, namely, strength, knowledge, wisdom, smartness, insightfulness, will power, curiosity and tenacity. Poverty prevails when the fore bearing generation bury all their accomplishments, refusing to arm their upcoming generation with tools they have discovered for them to do their own battles. In Ghana the examples are many, how many herbalist haven't died with all their knowledge of medicinal herbs?
Patrick Kobina Arthur (PhD),