The End of Empathy?
Last week, we continued our exploration of Empathy with Empathy and Detachment. Before that, we shared on The First Empathy. Before that, we looked at The Road to Empathy. This week, we finish our exploration.
I am a strong believer in the fact that we are what we eat. It goes the same for what we believe. We are the vessel that carries all morals and values that we believe in. We demonstrate said beliefs through the way that we treat people. We show people who we are by acting a certain way. By loving hard, or not loving at all. We can be known as a light source, or someone that sucks the energy from the light source. We all have the ability to reign in our emotional reactions. If someone decided to be hurtful towards us, rather than lashing out and reacting in a negative way, would it not be better to look at the light sucker and say “I am really sorry that you are hurting so much that you feel the need to hurt others” or “I am sorry that you feel that way”. Why should we give in any more of our precious energy? When we allow our energy to be depleted, we soak in a little negative. We begin to hate ourselves a little more, we plant seeds in our mind that what these people are saying to us is true. Yet it is not. Not close. We are all worth the beauty that the world has to offer. No one should ever be allowed to take that from us.
I explained to my son the night that we had dealt with this issue, that we are all like candles. People that don’t have the skills to know how to treat one another are like a dark cloud that blows wind around us. We as the candle can either allow our flame to be blown out, or we can shelter and protect it. That way our flames burns bright and strong.
I will forever remind all of you, each and every day, of how worthy that you are to have that bright, beautiful flame burning. Do not allow anyone to blow that flame out. Keep burning brightly. Be that light that the world so desperately needs.
Empathy is an interesting virtue. This has been a very interesting deeper dive for me; understanding its power to feel my own feelings and to cut others the slack needed, while I do so.
It is a power that is available to us all, in and through practice. It is important to develop it. It allows us to effectively discern situations by feeling for ourselves and others. With it, we can better determine whether we had a role in someone’s hurt or not. Empathy with Discipline and Discernment can help us know the difference in guilt and shame. Guilt says “I made a mistake”. Shames says “I am a mistake”. If I hurt you, Empathy will allow me to see my guilt and address the situation. Empathy, with Discipline and Discernment, will also allow me to recognize when I am shaming myself or another.
Empathy is not simply “feeling”. It is feeling for another. As I have noted before, that “other” can be ourselves. But Empathy is powerful in how we understand our interconnection with and impact upon others. Empathy is not weak. Nor, is it a special talent only for some. It is a power that we can and must develop in order to lead healthier, better connected lives within and with others. It can powerfully guide our best responses. It can constructively impact our own endurance. It demands Courage and Honesty; but it is a worthy investment.
So, we continue. Is this the end of our exploration of Empathy? Probably not. We continue to be committed to living a joyful life and work. Friends do that. For December, we will be taking a bit of a break but sharing some thoughts along the way. We certainly will continue to explore our own perspectives on love and character and how they can build a life of work, play and service that is right for each and all of us. Stay with us.
Peace, passion, prosperity, and a whole bunch of Love and Character
Benny and Jarry
Peace, passion and prosperity…
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Benny and Jarry
Jenny Dearing speaks to love in action. She brings talent, experience and learning around love, trauma and care. With a passion for Child and Youth Care and Addictions, and a background in same, she connects, and memorably so. Her work spans children and youth care with addictions, personal and senior care, respite work, and business leadership; delivering on all. Jenny is a Certified Virtues Project™ Facilitator, with professional training in child and youth care with addictions support and home support services. With certification in ASIST Suicide First Aid, Autism Awareness and Understanding, Trauma Information Care and Child and Youth Care Practice, Jenny brings it, with zeal. On top of all that, she loves singing, and is an accomplished multi-media artist … and brings both to her work. Artistry is a path to love and healing. Jenny knows it. She believes in it. She drives it.
Barry Lewis Green moves the needle on character leadership and unity building with joyful ferocity and thoughtful zeal. Barry helps leaders forge strong, united cultures at school, work, business and community. Joe Calloway says, “I had the distinct pleasure of being in an audience in Montreal with Barry Lewis Green on the stage. Quite simply, Barry absolutely captivated us with his talent, his message, and his heart. The feeling of unity that Barry created in the room that day was extraordinary.” With 39 years in education and leadership training and development … and work in the private, public and community sectors across Canada… and as a speaker, educator, master facilitator, coach, writer, singer, dancer, and cartoonist, Barry stokes the fire on together strong.