To Saadi, a thirteenth-century Persian poet and philosopher, the answer is a definite yes as it is reflected in his poem placed at the Entrance of the United Nations Building in NYC.
Human beings are members of a whole,
In the creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you’ve no sympathy for human pain,
The name of a human you cannot retain!
We are all part of one body. When one part of the body hurts, all hurt. If we do not feel the pain of another human, then we must not be called human.
Twenty years ago, A group of scientists in Italy discovered mirror neurons in the brain.
Neuroscientists believed that the mirror neuron is the basis of human empathy that results in our compassion and kindness. Later it was discovered that these neurons react and fire when we watch someone is in pain and misery. As though, our brain is designed to feel other people’s pain like our own body parts. If one part of the body hurts, the entire body feels the pain.
When we receive painful stimuli, a part of the brain called the pain matrix light up. Scientists observed that this part of the brain also lights up when we watch someone else receive the same painful stimuli. In a real way our brain experiencing other people’s pain and suffering. This is the neural foundation of compassion and kindness that Saadi called human as the member of a whole, like part of the same body.