I had not heard this excellent expression, despite having worked nine years in a hospital and twenty-five with vulnerable people doing theater. The meaning, in summary, is: emotional aftermath that people suffer by work or vocation they help those who suffer.
Those most affected are those who are on the front lines: health personnel, firefighters, psychologists, social workers… Those and those who, due to their compassionate nature per se, have chosen professions that help with their care to sustain the world.
They are persons especially sensitive to the suffering of others and, that, for this reason or inversely, they usually suffer from their own suffering. Hardly a brute will want to dedicate himself to caring. It will be rare to see a psychopath in service work. The compassion, whose etymological meaning is “to feel with” is a fundamental virtue in the human being for which, without a doubt, we advance.
Now it is called empathy. Empathetic people are those who look carefully around, see what is happening and when it is necessary to help, they do so without delay. They are the most at risk of suffering from this fatigue. Out of compassion, because no matter how much the heart shields itself, the accumulation of sorrows traps us.
And what happens then? That the glass of your devotion overflows and you start to feel bad, to feel sadness, tiredness, irritability, physical pain… In a word, that you get sick without knowing why. That you stop being kind to your peers, that you need them to take care of you and you don’t realize it.
I now remember how many nurses suffered from this syndrome when I worked in the hospital. They were wonderful women who had become harsh, critical, demanding. They spent all their time taking care of others without the consideration they deserved.
ohAnd how many toilets will there be now after the pandemic?to! All these beings, our angels, must be paid more than anyone else, in time, in money, in admiration. Because his syndrome comes from our contempt.