Sympathy (isisa)

“My neighbour’s sorrow is my sorrow”

Sympathy is vital in Ubuntu life and it is practised especially in times of sorrow. It is inevitable that sorrow will appear from time to time in the form of death, sickness or other hurtful events. When sorrow strikes a neighbour, who is also a brother, one suffers from that sorrow as well and weeps with that brother, because it is due to such a brother that one is a brother to others too. It is realised that sorrow is temporary. A core component of dealing with the sorrow of others is to be able to listen with compassion to the pain of someone else. Just being present can help them feel that they have been heard and their feelings validated. This is also known as emotional intelligence. It is about awareness of the other’s emotional conditions (as well as one’s own) and an ability to manage both. – Dr Broodryk (2006).

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