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Monthly Archives: June 2014

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“The dishwasher needs to be emptied and could you sort your laundry?”
‘What do you do when I am not here?’
‘Can you buy this?’
‘Do you need change?’
‘You over analyze everything!’

Adolescent angst and righteous indignation from a son to his clueless mother.

Thank G-d for my grandchildren!

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if u want happiness

Have you ever heard something that made your mouth drop open? I have — until I close it, realizing that I look like a trout waiting for the hook.

As an empathetic idealist (I have the Kersey and Myers Briggs to back that up) certain scheming behaviors simply don’t occur to me. It is not that I am dumb, although some might think that I am a naïve simpleton, but actually I am too busy looking at faces, energy, spirit, psychology and the mysteries of the mind. It does not occur to me to look for the “fast track” to get ahead or how to make my next dollar.

Don’t get me wrong, my debt is crippling like everyone else I know.

I have the capacity to get angry, outraged, and incensed like other people. My ego is solidly planted and justice is very important to me. I have plenty of opinions and knowledge and I am not afraid to use them.

However, when you are looking up, and looking out to others, you are not focusing on material goods. You are thinking about empathy, kindness, compassion, caring and lightening someone else’s load. The most amazing people we have ~ teachers, social workers, nonprofit and charitable employees, volunteers, therapists, nurses, soldiers ~ are compensated so poorly for the level of heart and effort that they put into all that they do for others. They are too compassionate, and wired for empathy, to turn away. The funds are not there and they struggle to support their families. But, they do it anyway.

Others figure out how to get the best deal and all the back doors to “success.” How do we measure success? Is it only by the bankbook? There are children who grow up wanting to be rock stars or multi-millionaires. Others want to be policemen and firemen. They want to be teachers and artists. They want to help others and seek employment doing just that even though they are not compensated well for all that they do for others.

There are many lists that measure the richest and the most powerful. Magazines are devoted to the wealthy life and hotels that cost more per night than most people make in a month. They are indeed beautiful, and it would be very nice. Ahhhhh… but apparently I was meant to work for the money I have in this lifetime.

The wealthy that impress me are the altruistic and philanthropic ones who genuinely want to see improvement in the world. They are ambassadors and fighters for the needs of those suffering, in numerous ways, all around the world. They want to improve education in the classroom and bring opportunities for growth and job opportunities. They have achieved staggering levels of income but they are also giving extraordinary amounts to help others. It may be a tax deduction, but how you give charity shows if you really care about it.

Some people are experts at all the dirty tricks and prioritize them. It did not occur to me to look for the lowest common denominator.

Sorry, — I am an idealist and I am too busy looking up!

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In trying to understand empathy, I have found some interesting and insightful media meant to describe it. Truly, to me, empathy is not definable in black and white terms by virtue of its very nature. The empathy we feel towards another changes when that person is right in front of us. What about when that person is halfway around the world? Can we understand the horror of a child kidnapped if it is not in our own backyard? Do we turn away because the news is frightening rather than stand up and fight for the rights of that family to find their child at any cost? Can we feel the desperation and terror of their anguish?

For me, being empathetic takes energy; it absorbs some of another person’s pain. It is turning experience into awareness and action to ease or aid someone else’s struggle. It is not easy to stand in the shadow of the disenfranchised but it is an injustice not to.

We humans are so fragile, and on the surface, we show our bravado, our distance and attempts to control situations to benefit ourselves and advantage. We lose touch with the reality that everyone we meet is fighting some sort of a battle. If we know, can we help? If we did, would we?

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Thank you for stopping by and I would love to hear what you think empathy is or is not. Please share your ideas, quotes and media. We are all in this together.

This beautiful, open, honest young woman ~ Anna Clendening ~ put a face on anxiety, panic attacks and depression for millions of people.

Every person who has ever suffered a panic attack, a depressive disorder, an anxiety attack or any other mental health issue, has spent a life in shadow. The stigma, lies, shame and fear has kept each one locked in an individual cage of isolation. Some suffer for minutes, others suffer for years. So many suffer alone or cannot get relief from conventional methods.

The blame and casting off from those who have never mourned, grieved, struggled to get out of bed, or make it through another day is the real dis-ease in our society. To those who foolishly think they are immune, there is not one person who has not been touched by some form of anxiety, phobia, depressive disorder or mental health issue in their inner circle of family and friends.

I can only say that I sobbed as I listened to her heart and soul bared for all to see. I imagine that if you have a shred of empathy, or have ever experienced such pain or despair, you will find it hard not to cry with her as well.

Life is filled with peaks and valleys…. Anna Clendening climbed out of the darkest of months to honestly share her situation, on national television, and offered hope to others who struggle silently each day. The love of her parents gave her strength and she showed the courage and strength others take for granted. This is Bravery.

What a breath of fresh air ~ Hallelujah!

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