Read Grace’s Letter


Dear Grace,

I totally get what you’re saying about empathy. It’s a very powerful tool for anyone. Sorry, but if anyone knows empathy, it’s a Canadian, eh. We often tend to start every second sentence with, “I’m sorry” (see what I did there…eh). Seriously though, you are correct, but I think you’re also pointing the finger and not seeing the bigger picture.

In my former corporate life, I used to be asked to teach the front-line staff how to use empathy to raise the customer’s experience levels. For most, this was easy, but, with some people, you just cannot teach empathy to them. True empathy comes engrained in our social and human side. If empathy is not present in that person, you can’t teach it, or it comes off as being really fake and insincere. Was it a success? Yes, sometimes telling a customer it’ll take two days to roll a truck and fix their issue could escalate to a customer going to a competitor to have their needs met. But add some true empathy, and that same customer may not be happy with that news, but he’ll live with it and remain a customer. The same goes for voting: Empathy can be a very powerful tool in politics, but I think you need to widen that scope.

Empathy was not invented and used in politics exclusively in the 1960s. Every politician since the beginning of time has used empathy on one scale or another as a tool. All politicians kiss babies, and they shake hands and give praises to children who were dragged to some rally by their parents — and the politicians know that babies and children can’t vote. Why do they still do it? It’s because this pulls on the heartstrings and emotions of the children’s voting parents. To point the finger at one political party saying they use empathy and the opposing party does not is simply not true. At least this is how I see it and feel, so if you disagree with me, we’ll just have to agree to disagree on the empathy topic.

I do agree that some scenarios and situations do stand out more than others, just as there can be different degrees of empathy for every situation. Hence, your mention of the transgender-bathroom covfefe. Sorry (empathy!), couldn’t resist using that word here. It just seemed to fit.

I find this whole bathroom thing funny and a bit disturbing. Transgender individuals are nothing new. They’ve been around for a long time — they all just didn’t simply appear in society one day. In all this time, they have used bathrooms like any other human being. No, they just didn’t hold it and cross their legs for years, waiting to have a political debate on which bathroom they should use to be politically correct. And no, they didn’t demand their own bathrooms, either. They just want to do their business like they have been all along and be accepted as any other random person just using a bathroom.

What is disturbing to me is that many people out there associate transgender individuals with pedophilia. That is just simply wrong. I’m not sure where this even comes from. Maybe it’s just been generated out of the fears of those people who are simply too narrow-minded to understand that these are two separate groups and that one has nothing to do with the other. In fact, it raises my suspicions about the people who think that a transgender person is automatically part of the pedo club. I have often heard that the worst homophobes out there are that way because they have latent and unresolved homosexual tendencies and curiosities themselves. If that is true and translates over into the bathroom-gender battles, it’s simply frightening to even think of, and I hope it’s not true.

Simply put, there is no way to please everyone, but from time to time, we can see things get blown out of proportion. Now we have another new minority group screaming to be noticed and demanding that the masses change and bend over to their requests. What I’m speaking of is the group that doesn’t identify with either gender and consider themselves gender neutral. This miniscule group would like us all to change our languages so there would be no masculine or feminine pronouns when referring to others. Some languages, like French, are totally based on masculine and feminine at the core of the language, so this request becomes impossible and absurd really quick. They also believe it’s wrong to raise your little girl as a girl or raise your little boy as a boy, and they want us to change our entire society based on their miniscule group’s belief. So, for this minority group, their requests are so over the top that I’m positive you won’t see any empathy for them, at least from me. Sorry — not sorry.



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