During the 2021-22 winter in Israel, there were several cases of elderly people found on the verge of hypothermia due to their inability to pay the costs involved in heating their homes. As such, a petition emerged that called to cover the heating costs for all elderly people who could not afford their electricity bills.
I would take such a proposal a step further: that a national plan should be prepared whereby the elderly would not need to pay for heating in the winter at all.
In general, such a situation brings up the question of empathy, namely: what do we need to do in order to feel the pain of others? That is, when we are freezing cold, we feel such pain distinctly and act on it immediately. However, if we know about others who are cold, we are inclined not to act with the same level of urgency.
To empathize with the pain of others, we need to open our hearts to them. “Opening our hearts” means participating in their sorrow. In this particular instance, it means that we should act toward them as we would act for ourselves if we were freezing cold.
The problem is that our nature makes us take care of ourselves while keeping others at a distance. Yet, we should know that the upper force, the Creator, which is a force of love, bestowal and connection, holds our nature, our hearts. Therefore, if we would ask the Creator to open our hearts to the sorrows of others, then we would receive an open gate to the world’s correction, i.e. to a state where we become sorrow-free and achieve balance, peace and harmony. Moreover, by doing so, we would receive a feeling of the upper force, which would fulfill us completely.
As for this particular case with heating for the elderly in winter, there is a key argument—“Where would we get the money to pay for all of that electricity?”—to which I think that if the people in this country were all concerned about fixing this problem, then we would find that it is no large sum of money. All we need is to increase care for each other.
Based on the video “The Need to Increase Care for Others” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.
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