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Archives for Empathy

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the First Colony Church of Christ.

Have you ever been a person who just doesn’t get it? I have. For instance, I have sought the counsel of many middle school students over the years in order to understand the game Minecraft, and I must admit that…

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I was trying to get the attention of one of the kids at school the other day but the student wasn’t responding. At first, I thought he was in his own little world. Then as I said his name a bit louder, I decided he was flat out ignoring me. As I got even closer I wondered if something…

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Various version of this cartoon have floated around for some time. It is a great illustration of point of view and ultimately empathy. If we would each take a moment to walk around to the other side and look at something from a new angle we might not only come to a better understanding of an issue but…

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The same day my son earned a big academic achievement his senior year of high school, he had a wreck that was his fault. All in the accident were fine, but Jacob was understandably upset.

After the police and insurance information was exchanged and there was nothing else to do but handle the emotions of this accident, I spoke to my son.

“Remember how this feels.”

“Why?”

“Empathy.”

“Remember…

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I grew up just outside of Saint Louis in a small town called Union. It was and I am sure still is a pretty blue collar town. We grew up with plenty of land to run around on and local restaurants to eat at. It wasn’t until we moved from there to North Alabama in 1992 that Union finally got a McDonalds. It was that small.

One of my memories…

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Like anything, empathy can be a healthy part of life or an unhealthy one depending on how it is being used. Edwin Friedman wasn’t a big fan of empathy because empathy can be a tool used to keep stuck systems stuck and dysfunctional systems dysfunctional. Empathy can hijack a relationship or a system and keep people from moving forward because in hurting with those who hurt it can make…

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“God just needed another angel,” said more than a few people after learning that our son had died.

“No, he doesn’t,” my wife and I would silently scream. “God, doesn’t need any more angels!”

That was fourteen years ago. My wife and I began keeping a list of things people would say, always with good intentions, which were neither helpful nor encouraging. You know, sayings like the one I just mentioned…

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I don’t understand you and you probably don’t understand me. But we can try. If I am only to care about those who are just like me that isn’t anything more than loving myself…that the closer you are to who I am the easier it is I find myself loving you. The true challenge is in loving someone who is…

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