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Empathy - How Much One Cares


 Editor    Sep 11 : 18:56
 None    Traditions

Empathy, is the ability to relate or identify with, another's feelings, thoughts or position ( to put yourself in someone else shoes and compare the similarities.) That is not as easy as it sounds, not for addicts helping addicts, and especially, not for non – addicts attempting to help addicts.

EmpathyEmpathy, is the ability to relate or identify with, another's feelings, thoughts or position ( to put yourself in someone else shoes and compare the similarities.) That is not as easy as it sounds, not for addicts helping addicts, and especially, not for non – addicts attempting to help addicts. Why? Probably, because of the overwhelming desire to show how much one knows, instead, of how much one cares.

I have fallen into this trap more times than I'd like to admit. The apostle Paul, however, has the correct perspective in Philippians 2: 3-8:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus: “ Who , being in very nature God,...made himself nothing..a servant..a man..


How's that for relating? Getting on the same plane of thinking and feeling! Wow! Now, some may say, “ You can't relate to everything! “ Right. Yet, you can relate to most things. For instance, I might not be able to relate to someone involved in a catastrophic event, such as, an earthquake, tsunami or tornado – having never been involved in any such event. However, I can relate to feelings of loss, fear, sadness, anger, confusion, pain, hunger, hopelessness, powerlessness, etc. I have learned how to do this by being apart of this CR group.

Learning to relate, to identify, with someone else pain, pride or progress, is a skill ( a skill that can be used beyond the rooms of CR and applied to people of all walks of life.) It takes a concerted effort not to criticize, preach to or gloss over a person's heartfelt confession, especially, when it may appear frivolous,boring, egregious or confrontational. Instead of searching for a solution for this poor souls life, I must first realize that this, “poor soul,“ is me!

( Romans 3:23 ) “ All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

That takes the steam out of my piety, aloofness and nonchalant perspectives. As Muhammad Ali once wrote, in a poem,” We/me.” The apostle Paul made clear numerous times, in his letters to the disciples, how much he could identify with the worst of sinners, “ What a wretched man I am! “ ( Romans 7:24 ) He was saying that he had missed the mark. He had fallen short of the goal. He had messed up – and would still be messed up – if not for Jesus' intervention.

What a message of hope! The man who performs miracles and preaches mighty sermons, who has seen Jesus – was a miserable sinner too! So, too, can we give people hope by showing we are all equal, on the battlefield of sin. We are all in need of help. Of hope. Understanding....Empathy. “ For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”


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