Empathy

Hi y’all,

I hope you’re enjoying 2018 so far. My family and friends have all had some version of the stomach bug, sinus infections, RSV, and pneumonia since Christmas. It sure seems like there’s a lot of sickness going around. I hope you have all been healthy.

I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy lately. According to Merriam-Webster online, the definition of empathy is:  the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this

I feel like most days we are in short supply of empathy. I know when someone cuts me off when I’m driving, I get really, really mad. But, I have no idea what is happening to them or what is going on in that situation. So I try to stop myself from yelling, although on most days, I fail. I’d say for the most part, it’s easy for us to judge others when we see them doing things we don’t agree with or understand. I want to encourage all of us to just stop, in those situations, and try to put ourselves in those people’s place. What is happening in their lives? If they’re yelling at their kids in Wal-Mart, instead of thinking, “what horrible parents!” let’s think, “well maybe they’re having a bad day.” Let’s try giving each other the benefit of the doubt more.  

When we talk about other countries and express our feelings about how bad/good they are, let’s stop and think, “How would I feel if people in Haiti called my country a bad place?” If we do that before we speak, we might get along better all around. I understand that sometimes we say things before thinking; it’s something I struggle with a lot. But, if we could all work on this, I think the world would be a better place. 

Remember the saying, Love Thy Neighbor. 

TETH

 

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