Since I've become a less orthodox Latter-day Saint I find I get depressed a lot. I feel bad about things. I feel bad about people. I wish I could fix problems better. I wish I could communicate my faith better.
One of the things I realized yesterday is that I feel bad more because I empathize with people more. Before I used to look at the bad things that happened to people, and I thought "if that person were only a member of the church, this wouldn't have happened". "If only that person were more active in the church, this wouldn't have happened." "If only that person followed more correct principles, this wouldn't have happened". I used to look at entire categories of people as sort of broken and unclean and mostly responsible for the bad things that happened to them. I put an emotional distance between myself and them that didn't involve me in their problems.
I don't really do that as much anymore. I don't apply those silly rules as much, and consequently I hurt for people more, regardless of what they might have done to get themselves into trouble. I just feel bad for their problems and wish there was something I could do to make it better. I tend to think of most everybody as kind of a mixed bag, struggling to make their way in this world as best they can, based on the information they have.
That doesn't mean I actually *do* anything most of the time. I just feel bad for them. I identify with them.
I think Jesus was like that. He looked at people, shook his head, and tried to love them anyway.