empathy

All posts in the empathy category

How long before they topple this one?

Published July 23, 2022 by Nan Mykel

OOPS–Out of date message?

A gift from the people of France, she has watched over New York Harbor since 1886, and on her base is a tablet inscribed with words penned by Emma Lazarus in 1883: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  

How embarassing… Must have been above the former president’s radar.  We’ll watch….

P.S. I know I’ve got my sides mixed up, but I’m not in favor of any wrecker of history….Besides, some of mine are those who were misled by the times, like some good people today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I JUST WASHED A CENTIPEDE DOWN THE SINK

Published July 22, 2022 by Nan Mykel

…Or was it a millipede?  Poor thing, he didn’t have a choice as to how many legs he was born with.  For unscientific reasons I am afraid of those many-legged creatures..  If I was a good Christian I might feel guilt, but I still do.  There but for the grace of God go I discussion as follows from How to Get to Heaven and other Google results:

The origin of the saying there but for the grace of God go I is unknown, but it has been in use since at least the 1700s. It is sometimes shortened to there but for the grace of God or but for the grace of God.

However it is expressed, there but for the grace of God go I is a statement of humility and gratitude that acknowledges one’s own sinful nature and the need for God’s grace. One of the earliest attributions of the saying is to John Bradford, an English Reformer, who supposedly said it as he watched people led to execution for their crimes. In a sense he was saying, “That could have been me but for God’s grace.”….

In a way, the attitude of “there but for the grace of God go I” is an antidote to judgmentalism. When we see someone who is down and out, who is suffering hardship, or who is reaping unpleasant consequences, we can respond in two basic ways. We can say, “He deserves it and should have made better choices,” or we can say, “There but for the grace of God go I.” The first response is what Job’s three friends ultimately chose; the second response shows empathy as we acknowledge the kindness of God toward us and extend that kindness to the one in trouble.

HEY, NO FAIR?  I can’t turn all preachy when I’m an agnostic?  Just watch me!  A centipede or millipede?  Was he baptized?  But didn’t Jesus say something about blessing a sparrow, tho I can’t remember just where–One might say about our former president, “There but for the grace of God go I…?”  Doesn’t mean you wouldn’t get washed down the sink, but it would be with empathy.

NEWSFLASH: Someone has suggested we solve homelessness by shooting the homeless.  It’s being described as a joke, but funny ha-ha?  (It was Joe Rogan on his podcast), according to Google and many others.)

WHO IS MY READER?

Published December 24, 2017 by Nan Mykel

I’m finally trying to get the hang of blogging via WordPress’ tutelage, and one of the questions I need to address is who I am writing for [and about what].  That’s an especially tough question for me, because my interests are so far-flung.  I write–a lot of different stuff–I think because I was never listened to until a rehab counselor who became alarmed at my sudden torrent of tears in his office referred me to a master psychotherapist right there and then, making a contact on the phone during the session.

So, I write in response to folks I empathize with, and almost all of them are struggling with some sort of problem at the cusp of growth and change.  My mind is like a billiard table, with thoughts, ideas, questions and “what-if’s” rolling around inside my head almost constantly, by myself.  I’m lonely for intellectual stimulation. I was most alive in graduate school, studying psychology,  where everything and everybody was a glorious mystery.

I know I have too many pages on my blog, but still I probably need to make a separate one for politics, because I keep getting waylaid by someone’s political savvy. My page on Relief is pure bliss, for those into bliss, and the two on Secrets really reveal the wide range of things I’m curious about. But none of that addresses the question of who I’m writing for–what kind of followers would find my blog most compatible with their experiences and interests?  I probably shouldn’t have revealed my age–that’s an automatic downer, but too late to re-think that.  Talking about my book is also a downer, I think–everybody who blogs seems to have written a book.  Most bloggers I have read seem to have suffered from more heartless incest than I did. I can’t relate to the yearning or jilted lover population, and I don’t cook; never did, really.

I can despise myself as much as any blogger, but that’s a downer for others and not fun, even for me, to read.  Obviously my experience with a Downs syndrome child (one page) didn’t light any fires.  So if I’m not aware of who I’m writing for, why write?  It reminds me of my 20 years of volunteering as a public access television producer, when almost no one ever watched that channel.  So–it’s probably back to the question of why I never reached “my potential.”  Since I was licensed to practice clinical psychology in two states, received a Ph.D., and received top-drawer psychotherapy for myself,  I am reluctant to admit that I still  bear the traces of the sexual abuse (from my father) and the verbal abuse (from my mother).  I don’t want others to know that even the best psychotherapy still leaves some of the damage untouched.

As Briere (1996, 84)  said of survivors, they will never not have been abused–the past will continue as memories, and it will always be part of her life.

Although I look okay on the surface, I am the only one who is aware of the shortcomings, inadequacies and even diseased places within.  I’ll have to go and meditate a little more to put that into words for readers who may in turn have empathy for me.

Bless? For d’Verse

Published June 27, 2017 by Nan Mykel

If I say bless you, who am I to possess blessings to bestow?

Am I asking God to bless you?  A bit presumptious!

If I  shout Bless You when you sneeze, that’s knee jerky.

I know, I know I’m being difficult.  But a black widow spider?

Bless his little heart? Don’t know if spiders have hearts,

or if he’s a she.  Does Bless you suggest forgiveness? Even

more than that, I think.  Love? Surely if I bless a tic

I’m not really loving it. Accepting it as a sibling life form,

maybe.  Empathy. I can buy that, for we’re all riding

this rocky boat together.

 

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