empathy

i’ll show you mine if you show me yours first/let’s compare scars, i’ll tell you whose is worse.  ~rise against

i like empathy. i like absorbing your feelings, sufferings, hopes, fears, the things that make life for you. last friday i sat and watched a married couple-the man had only one arm-learn how to salsa dance given their unique circumstances. take a moment to think about that. you both need both your arms to salsa well. but they were doing it and the instructor was helping and it was all happening in the middle of an empty dance floor with plenty of people on the outskirts to qawk. observing this little miracle made me feel there was good in the world.

i’ve also been having lots of conversations about capital punishment and wrongdoers like somalian pirates and juvenile offenders. i cannot ignore the fact that we all have a past that created us and that not one of us chose the country, government, neighborhood, religion, family, or home life we were born into. we are products of choices and circumstances. i work with runaways and this is vividly apparent to me. i cannot condemn you. i will attempt to absorb your pain.

now let’s see if i’ll let you absorb mine. this is a much more difficult task. even if i let you in enough to know my joys and sorrows i may try to whisk the latter away with a laugh and an, “oh, but i deal with it.” please let me. i’m not ready.

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~ by smpseattle on April 24, 2009.

2 Responses to “empathy”

  1. you’re not ready for someone to empathise with you? i pray that changes, the load gets awful heavy alone. i feel like i’m an expert on the subject at this point. overall, i really appreciate your post. i have a feeling that this will be a trend. thank you for conversing, you are heard.

  2. I’m with Annie here, I think.
    Don’t shortchange yourself–in the end, you’ll be better at helping others if you are taken care of, too.
    It’s good to hear from you. It sounds like you are on quite an adventure!

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