Empathy: what it’s good for

morning lightI’ve been having a bit of a clean out, moving things around and going through boxes of saved papers to see what I can do without. I found this piece of writing in one of those boxes. It was typed on an a word-processor that is long gone, so I wrote it well over ten  years ago. Evidently this has been on my mind for a long time!’ George Bushism’ would refer to the elder of the two – I decided to let that stand, however dated, as only the labels have changed.

Empathy, empathy, god grant us EMPATHY!

Empathy could save the world.

Empathy could destroy – militarism, terrorism, George Bushism.

Empathy is what Tibetan Buddhists cultivate in order to grow in compassion.

Empathy could destroy – xenophobia, war, greedy banks.

Empathy would make babies happy and grow them into happy adults.

Empathy prevents depression.

Empathy is more precious than any commodity you care to name.

Empathy can be taught.

And it’s high time it was.

Empathy, Empathy! Empathy is what makes us human – humans being – being in relation to others, and if we are not in relation to others, what are we?

Empathy allows others inside each others heads and hearts.

Babies die without empathy, and with not enough, they grow up to be psychopaths – incapable of feeling, of understanding – or caring – how anyone else is feeling.Seattle sheep graf

 

I also found this quote, scribbled on the back of a recipe…

“Living with hybrid identities and multiple cultural affiliations breeds a bottom-up cosmopolitanism and empathic extension. By incorporating diverse cultures, individuals become multicultural in their own identity; and therefore more tolerant and open to the diversity around them. A multicultural identity also gives an individual a richer reservoir of personal experiences and feelings to draw upon in expressing empathy to others.”

Jeremy Rifkin

‘The Empathic Civilization.’

What he is basically saying there is – everybody needs to get out more, literally and figuratively, and we’ll all be much better off personally and socially.

Empathy is one powerful way to Counter Dominator Culture!chair shadow

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2 thoughts on “Empathy: what it’s good for

  1. I apologize for liking this but not leaving a comment on how much this poem moved me. Empathy is one of the most essential things a human being can possess and one of the things so many of us lack. Your words hit home that it is the deficit of empathy that of far greater importance than any monetary deficit when viewing the problems in our world and our communities. Thank you for sharing your voice.

    Like

    • Thanks Jeff. I hadn’t really thought of it as a poem – more of a rant – so I appreciate you seeing it that way. I intend going on about how important empathy is for a very long time!

      Like

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