There seems to be a side effect of COVID-19 which seems to have gone largely unrecognised to date.
It seems this pandemic-impacted world we are living in at the moment seems to be slowly chipping away at the empathy we have as human beings. Have you noticed?
It's been remarkably apparent on social media, a den for negativity if there ever was one. Take this example.
At the weekend on the Illawarra Mercury Facebook page we shared the story talking about how many people will be negatively impacted by the oncoming welfare cuts.
The web headline of the story read: After next week's welfare cuts, Imogen will survive on $275 a week.
In return, there were some uncaring, perhaps unthinking, replies not least of which included the following.
"I don't understand, people lived fine before the supplement. They will live fine after it. It's their own fault if they got comfortable with the money, they all knew it was going to be cut down, then end. That's on them, not on the government," was one comment.
Really?Is that the level of empathy we have at the moment?
"Maybe she should get a job," was another comment from Matthew on Facebook.
Matthew maybe you should click through and read the story before you post a comment in response. There were others but we won't bore you any further. The point is, generally we are all feeling challenged, under pressure, stressed and out of patience with the year we are living through.
Yet perhaps now more than ever is the time to rise above it and go the extra mile to show some empathy towards every human being. Particularly those doing it tough.
In Harper Lee's novel To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus Finch addresses his daughter Scout and says: "If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
Those words were written in the 1950s, but they are applicable today as they were back then.