The MSU researchers, led by William J. Chopik, analyzed the data from an online survey on empathy completed by more than 104,000 people from around the world.
The survey measured people’s compassion for others and their tendency to imagine others’ point of view. Countries with small sample sizes were excluded (including most nations in Africa). All told, 63 countries were ranked in the study, according to MSUToday, a publication of Michigan State University.
One of the key measures of empathy is generosity to others, the kind of generosity seen in Pakistan by the likes of late Abul Sattar Edhi. The Edhi Foundation set up the great man is funded mainly by small donations from ordinary people in Pakistan.
Anatol Lieven, author of "Pakistan: A Hard Country" wrote the following tribute to the Mr. Edhi:
"There is no sight in Pakistan more moving than to visit some dusty, impoverished small town in an arid wasteland, apparently abandoned by God and all sensible men and certainly abandoned by the Pakistani state and its elected representatives - and to see the flag of Edhi Foundation flying over a concrete shack with a telephone, and the only ambulance in town standing in front. Here, if anywhere in Pakistan, lies the truth of human religion and human morality."
What Professor Anatol Lieven describes as "human religion and human morality" is the very essence of the Huqooq-ul-Ibad (Human Rights) in Islam. Abdus Sattar Edhi understood it well when he said, "there's no religion higher than humanity".
Edhi understood the meaning of what the Quran, the Muslim holy book, says in chapter 2 verse 177:
"Righteousness is not that ye turn your faces towards the east or the west, but righteous is, one who believes in God, and the last day, and the angels, and the Book, and the prophets, and who gives wealth for His love to kindred, and orphans, and the poor, and the son of the road, beggars, and those in captivity; and who is steadfast in prayers, and gives alms."
Most & Least Empathetic Nations:
Researchers conclude that Ecuador is the most empathetic country, followed by Saudi Arabia, Peru, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Korea, the United States, Taiwan, Costa Rica and Kuwait.
The least empathetic country is Lithuania. In fact, seven of the 10 least empathetic countries are in Eastern Europe. The study, published online in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, is co-authored by Ed O’Brien of the University of Chicago and Sara Konrath of Indiana University.
Average Pakistanis continue to be empathetic and generous in spite of the violence and the terror they have endured for over a decade. It can only be attributed to the strength of their faith and their adherence to what Prof. Lieven describes as "the truth of human religion and human morality".
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