Empathy

1: the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it
2: 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

 

Source: www.merriam-webster.com

Etymology

Empathy (n.): 1908, modeled on German Einfühlung (from ein “in” + Fühlung “feeling“), which was coined 1858 by German philosopher Rudolf Lotze (1817-1881) as a translation of Greek empatheia “passion, state of emotion,” from assimilated form of en “in” + pathos “feeling” (see: pathos).  A term from a theory of art appreciation that maintains appreciation depends on the viewer’s ability to project his personality into viewed object.

Source: etymonline.com

Wisdom

“Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?” 

Harper Lee (1926-2016, best known author for writing the Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (1960) and 'Go Set a Watchman' (2015), which portrays the later years of the Finch family)

Bio Source:

www.biography.com/people/harper-lee-9377021

“I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” 

Walt Whitman (1819-1892, author of the "Leaves of Grass"; along with Emily Dickinson, he is considered one of America's most important poets)

Bio Source:

www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/walt-whitman

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”

James Baldwin (1924-1987, "A novelist and essayist of considerable renown, James Baldwin bore articulate witness to the unhappy consequences of American racial strife")

Bio Source:

www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/james-baldwin

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” 

Brent Brown (b. 1965, researcher, story-teller, scholar, teacher, writer, and motivational speaker)

Bio Source:

brenebrown.com

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” 

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926 – 2004, Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies and the author of the groundbreaking book,"On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief)

Bio Source:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_K%C3%BCbler-Ross

Meditation

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

 

I woke up the other morning with an epiphany of not so much new information, but a reminder that although I struggled in my life, it was not in vain.  I needed these challenges experiences so I could empathize and understand more fully the plight of others.  I also needed to be committed to becoming a more awake participant in my own life creations, so I could rise above the fray.  I needed to experience those perceived tragedies, crises, and adversities so I could share my knowledge and wisdom with others.  And if so chosen, others can then side-step those pitfalls that I sometimes tripped upon.

We all struggle.  That’s the one thing we all have in common.  However, all suffering is relative, although I must admit the downtrodden, sick, and the poor suffer the most in this world.

Our difference are our unique life purposes.  We each have personalized missions.  But, it takes time to know what that is, and oftentimes the challenges and crises we face are the bridges that lead us to our divine passion and loves.

We know when we are on track to our life missions when there’s great opposition and we are denied or ridiculed by society we are assigned to help.  That’s when empathy is extremely important, because compassion will allow us to accept where others may be in their level of heart and consciousness.

With awareness and commitment of being empathy can be elevated to a powerful superpower.

Soldier on, sojourners!

Faithfully Yours, Tonya

 

 

 

 

 

 

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