To both the giver and the receiver.
I don’t believe I can fully understand racism; sexism, homophobia, or any other form of oppression unless I’ve experienced it.
However, I do believe I’m responsible for constantly developing my understanding of oppression and recognize my part in perpetuating it.
Empathy is a powerful place to start.
Judgment is not empathy.
- Finding someone to put down, judge, or criticize becomes a way to get out of the web or call attention away from my box.
- If you’re doing worse than I am at something, I think, my chances of surviving are better.
- To be able to see the world as others see it.
- To be non-judgmental.
- To understand another person’s feelings.
- To communicate your understanding of that person’s feelings.
Yes, empathy is all the above.
When I’m listening to a tough experience from a friend. I’m presented with an opportunity for empathy. I can choose empathy or ignore it.
- “Wow, that sounds pretty tough, but I can’t really relate to that,” then I’ve missed an opportunity for empathy.
- “It sounds like you are in a hard place, tell me more about it,” or “You’re right, I don’t know what that’s like. What is it like? Help me understand.”