In the Demon Slayer anime, demons are characterised as evil abominations to be killed, a duty that the demon slayers take very seriously. However, there is a stark difference in Tanjiro’s approach as he still holds empathy for these creatures. Even if the outcome of killing the demon remains the same, Tanjiro strives to do so with mercy and compassion. It’s easy to have empathy for individuals whom you like or whose views you share. What about when you differ?
A large part of Tanjiro’s empathy comes from the fact that his sister Nezuko was turned into a demon, thus humanising demons in Tanjiro’s eyes. It’s a delicate balance to stand up for our beliefs while empathising with others who don’t share our views. This can be even more difficult if we are motivated to defend someone we like. When faced with conflict, try to rein in any impulses to intentionally hurt the other person. Prioritise trying to understand where they are coming from. If need be, step away from the disagreement and return to it later with a cooler head.
Social media has made individuals’ voices more easily heard, but this has also contributed to the rise of flame wars and cyberbullying. Disputes take place at lightning speed between online aliases which dehumanises each participant. Even if you have to call out a certain behaviour, it’s crucial to remember that there is a human being behind the screen and to do it with tact. At the end of the day, everyone is fighting their own battle and trying to survive their own struggle.
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