Its toxic, obnoxious and crap. It makes the whole concept of selfless deed go into the popper. Tell me, how a concept that can mainly be described as powerful helping the vulnerable be good. In my theory, sympathy is what has precisely helped the powerful get leverage over the vulnerable, a theory proved right time and again by history. Sympathy is always linked to personal rewards. People have sympathetic responses particularly for somebody who is connected to them in some way. A sympathizer always weighs the personal rewards (whether its monetary or social) much more than the actual bliss of helping someone out of respect or empathy for them. I believe sympathy is more of a trait than a virtue.
Just think about it, if you have a sympathetic response towards a horrific event will that remain same if you have subsequent experiences of the same horrific event. Sympathy is self-satisfying and is ruled by interdependence. It’s more of a lubricant to social cog wheels rather than the fuel that drives the engine.
My motto in life is “Empathy is real, sympathy is bullshit”. If you cannot comprehend someone’s misery than at least don’t disrespect it with the charade of sympathy. I have encountered people who will say, they are sympathetic to your cause but what they actually mean is; “Finally! I will get some good fodder out of it to pawn off on social media for an ounce of awe from equally bankrupt social circle”.
Sympathy doesn’t mean that the sympathizer is sharing or feeling your pain. It just means that the sympathizer sees your pain and is glad that he doesn’t have to face it. A fact that can be socially tested if you share your pain and anger to a real friend he will blatantly but genuinely try to be there for you. But, share it with one of those phony kinds and they will provide you with equally phony advises. The best friend always bashes you but theirs’ genuine love in there, but a phony will bash just of the laughs or out of malice.
Last thought to ponder. Parents are the epitome of empathy; but more often than not, you can find children who just offer sympathy for their endurances and sacrifices.