What Does It Feel Like to Be Empathetic in the World Today?

Voices from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

Have you ever felt a deep sense of kinship or overwhelming revulsion upon meeting someone for the first time? Seen someone’s face change as you gazed at them, like the layers of an onion dissolving to reveal deeper layers of light or darkness? Felt the weight of too many conflicting thoughts and emotions as you looked out at an audience when you lectured or entered a crowd? Been the person in the crowd whom strangers gravitated to in order to seek help or share their stories and troubles? How can you deal with this level of unwanted sensitivity in a household, organization, or world that is too often filled with chaos, unkindness and violence?

crouching child

Drawing: Carol A. Hand

We are told by religions that compassion is essential for a world at peace, that empathy – “the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions:…

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