Wednesday, July 17, 2013

On Empathy

Consider this a call to pause and think about fellow human beings.  Really examine them deeply.

No assuming. No judging. 

No problem-solving or policy-making.

No looking at their world through your eyes.

Just get to know them.  Really know them.  Because they are worth knowing and understanding and loving.

I believe every human being is ineffably sacred in God's sight.  This implies a moral responsibility on my part to do my very best to treat them accordingly.  If God loves each person, followers of God's way must love each person too.  This is a mystical vision.  It is a mountaintop perspective.  It is very hard to sustain it, especially in the vicious street fights of politics.
-David Gushee, Sacred Conversations (please read the entire linked essay)

The gospel is powerful medicine, but ultimately it is not administered by volumes or votes or verdicts.  It is administered by a single trembling hand holding up a spoon before the willing face of another.
I can't understand why people don't see me for all that's me... not just some trifling girl with a baby. I'm more than that, you know?

One level is be nice, just be polite. Another level is to admit that there may be something you don't know. And then a third level, and this is the hardest, try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Try to actually see the world empathetically the way that the other person is seeing it. Sincerely make that effort.
-David Blankenhorn, On Being, Civil Conversations Project
Act 177: Politics aside, love first.
Lately, I have been ending speeches by saying, 'The two most radical things you can do in America are to slow down and to talk to each other.'  If you do these things, you will improve our country.
The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.