Day 196 – The Empathy Exercise

Art Apple - Day One Hundred Ninety Six

“Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space.  It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe.  It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.”  ~Michael Strassfeld

Empathy is the capacity to attempt to feel the experience and suffering of another. When did the blurry line between you and me turn to a sharp crisp border that we don’t have the time to cross and take a peek?

I was so upset today to hear that a friend with AS had a family member who was gossiping about how if they just went to the chiropractor their life and pain would be fine. This kind of talk makes me not only sad but it makes me angry which then leads to me asking myself if I am then not exercising empathy in trying to understand where that person is coming from.

I cannot say I practice empathy if I do not try to recognize that empathy is not a selective experience, but a trait I will attempt to use for everyone and in all situations. I’m not saying it’s easy but I want to live my life trying to understand the road others travel. A greater level of empathy is a gift that has been given to me by my disease. I want to take this gift and give of it freely wherever I can but to build good empathy muscles – I’m going to have to exercise them often and wander across to a place I’ve never been, to places that perhaps even make me uncomfortable.

Where can you shine the light today and learn about the life and experiences of someone else?

Until tomorrow.


Day 196 was created in acrylic inks.

The Empathy Exercise




4 Replies to “Day 196 – The Empathy Exercise”

  1. What a beautiful apple of empathy, shining light into the darkest places!
    Thank you for the wonderful way you express empathy in words and art. Your question is a challenge which I will try to meet.

  2. Well said. Thank you.
    My caregiver when I was sick said afterwards that the biggest lesson for him was the enormous growth in his empathic feelings/understanding of others. It is sad that suffering teaches us such lessons, but they are such very valuable lessons for all. Onward …

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