When I lived in Russia, someone sent me a copy of an article from the English version of a Moscow newspaper. The story told of hundreds of bags of undelivered mail being dumped into a lake near Moscow. When some Russian government official was contacted, his comment was: "It is not uncommon, it is not our problem."
As I approach my 45th birthday, it is natural for a certain world weariness to creep in from time to time. When you are younger, you seem to have boundless energy to solve all the problems of the world. As you begin to see the same problems over and over again, it is easy to get the "not uncommon, not my problem" mentality.
Empathy covers apathy in the same way that paper covers rock. As the world and its worries harden your heart, putting other peoples' troubles in front of your own soften it. So, next time you have the opportunity to help someone in need, tell yourself it may not be uncommon, but I can make it my problem.
Next Time: Perspective
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