This post will also be shared on The Odyssey, which is an online community that allows individuals to share their thoughts and opinions. I write for the Western Carolina University Community, which can be accessed by clicking here.
Recently a friend of mine, Katherine, a talented and thoughtful artist created a stencil that says, “Make Empathy Great Again”, while that statement is a spin-off on our current Presidents’ pledge to “Make America Great Again”, I’ll say her statement has much more profundity! Over the past year we have all witnessed a significant shift in how we share our thoughts, feelings, opinions, and beliefs with others, we’ve become much more defensive and unwilling to hear others and meet people where they are; I’ve even noticed that in myself – less likely to hear someone out but quicker to damn and disagree – definitely not how we define empathy.
After talking with Katherine and pondering her thoughts on how we need to Make Empathy Great Again, I realized Katherine is onto something, something that we all need to consider and work towards!
In my profession as a church leader and child care director, I’m often in situations where share the pain and joys of others as they journey through life. I’ve walked with families through tough times like losing a family member, divorces, tough transitions, struggles with family members, celebrated the birth of children, marriages and so many other things that we encounter throughout this life. So, as I reflected on what it meant to have empathy and how to share it those I come in contact with for me it means to have genuine care and concern for those I encounter along this journey called life, it means that I share the hurts and pains of those that I care about. It means that I stop to listen and understand when a friend is in need. It’s my hope that we all can Make Empathy Great Again! Now go and do….