Empathy Is Walking the Path of Another; Even Our Enemies 8

Twists of the Heart

At the point when anger and lust are generated, reality has become obscured; instead, we see extreme badness or extreme goodness, evoking twisted, unrealistic actions. — His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

In Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words, Professor Arthur Watkins told author, Kevin Hall that the word empathy “springs from the soil.” He explained, “Pathy comes from path, and em is in. Empathy is walking the path of another.”

Professor Watkins went on to say that communication is a close cousin of empathy. “Communication comes from the Latin communicare, which means to share in common.

Hearts filled with holes.

If you don’t get on another’s path, if you don’t go where he or she has gone, you can’t truly understand what that person is experiencing. — Kevin Hall

A year and a half ago, I completely changed my focus on this blog. I needed to focus on positives after a person who previously did a TED Talk on empathy became defensive and angry instead of showing empathy to my family. He did not walk our path so he did not see the holes in our hearts. Therefore, I totally understand the statement in Hall’s book:

It’s remarkable just how much can go wrong when the all-important ingredients of empathy and common ground aren’t firmly established.

I’m far from achieving the spiritual level of the Dalai Lama, but I did manage to stay calm during my conversation with the above mentioned individual. Still, I understand that it would be easy to let my response to the situation be anger too, and at times I have been angry. That is why I’ve focused on inner peace and supporting my loved ones privately instead.

I know that like the morning glories in my first picture, we are all connected, so I do talk about our experiences off-line when asked. Yet, I also respect the wishes of my loved one, and that is why I no longer blog about the details of our experiences. I know many of you are unable to walk our path and honestly, I hope you never have to do so.

Likewise, I have trouble walking the path of those who injured us, but I am trying to at least acknowledge that a failure to communicate contributed to the failures. And, part of the failures are mine.

I’ve been reading and studying, How to Be Compassionate: A Handbook for Creating Inner Peace and a Happier World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • Just as smart public policy aims to educate people so that they can take care of their own lives, so it is with the practice of altruism: the most effective way to help others is by teaching them what to adopt in their future practice and what to discard from their current behavior.
  • With anger, all actions are swift. When we face problems with sincere concern for others, success may take longer, but it will be more durable. 
  • Whether we believe in God or karma (the power of actions and their effects), strong ethical values are the foundation of society, and must be the underpinning of our daily lives.
  • Another benefit of adversity is that hard times can build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. We can even learn to nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers, because by creating trying circumstances, they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience.
  • Trying circumstances help you develop inner strength and the courage to face difficulty without emotional breakdown. Who teaches this? Not your friend, but your enemy.

This post was inspired by Kozo’s Bloggers for Peace Challenge.banner
Be sure to read other Bloggers for Peace Posts at:

B4Peace: A Tiger And His Boy Teach Empathy.

Empathy and Visiting Other Lands.

Monthly Peace Challenge: Woman in the Mirror (Complicated) 1

The woman in the mirror is complicated.

The woman in the mirror? It is complicated.

I continue to forgive others and myself for human flaws as I examine the woman in the mirror.

I gave one of the three speeches at my high school graduation for the theme entitled, “I Am a Part of All I Have Met …” My part was “The School.” I opened my speech with a quote that still applies to my life today.

The true purpose of education is to cherish and unfold the seed of immortality already sown within us; to develop, to their fullest extent, the capacities of every kind with which the God who made us has endowed us. — Anna Brownell Jameson

I truly am a part of all that I have met and I continue to learn and develop that seed of immortality as I continue to learn from all of the lessons life offers me. I aspire to live a life guided by the teachings of Jesus, Siddhārtha Gautama, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Teresa of Avila, Kuan Yin, etc. I want to be more like those I admire in more modern times like the His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II, Rabbi Albert Lewis, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others who inspire me to be a better person.

You might have noticed the woman in the mirror is surrounded by Asian decor. It is a part of me now too as it is a part of my husband and children. Yet, I am still also influenced by my southern roots in the Bible belt. And, I am also influenced by the Jesuit university I attended. Thus, I am a complicated woman with complicated beliefs.

I find myself drawn to many of the Buddhist teachings and I find parallels between the lives of Jesus and Siddhārtha Gautama. I likewise find parallels between Kuan Yin and some Christian saints along with Mother Mary. The thing I note that they all have in common is a desire for a more peaceful world beginning with inner peace. This too is my desire.

Per Kozo: 

Created by Kozo at Everyday Gurus for Bloggers for Peace.

Created by Kozo at Everyday Gurus for Bloggers for Peace.

For this month’s challenge, I want to combine this idea of changing ourselves to change the world with the Power of Intention. I challenge you to post a portrait of your ideal self–something that can remind you of the peaceful being you were born to be. Here are a few suggestions …

Don’t forget to link to at least one other B4Peace post and add your post to the Linkz collection.

The Journeys of Life: Monthly Peace Challenge: Woman In The Mirror 

Electronicbadlady’s Bag of Bits: B4Peace: Ideal Self

Inspire the Idea: April B4Peace Post — My Portrait

(Wake Me Up Now) Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning 4

There is a popular song, “Wake Me Up.”

A New Day Begins.

A New Day Begins.

This is your new day, the beginning. Don’t wait until it’s all over to wake up whether you are beginning a new chapter in your life, in the life of your child, in the life of your pet, or in your career. While there are a few things I would correct if I could go back in time, the reality is every single mistake I made taught me something. I would never be as wise without those lessons. So, don’t wait until you are wiser and older to wake up.

Parents of crying babies might wish for this phase to end. Stop and breathe instead and be grateful for those sleepless nights. Every moment you spend with your child is precious. The day will come quickly when your child is too old to carry and comfort when they cry, but I promise every sleepless night will help them learn to trust you and continue to come to you for advice.

At the beginning of life.

At the beginning of life.

Puppies may chew your favorite shoes or wet your favorite rug, but they are still so cute and so much fun to play with. The day will come when your dog no longer has the energy to play and yes, they might once again wet you favorite rug, but if you took the time for them when they were puppies, they will trust you with their lives and they will remain fateful to you until the end.

You might be nervous about that first day on the job, but I urge you to hang on to the joy. The joy will help you to adjust to changes that are sure to come in any career you choose.

Beginnings don’t end when we are older and wiser either. Life is all about change and every stage of life teaches us something new. Embrace the lessons and you will find joy.

Marriage Advice for Peace at Home 2

This month Kozo at Everyday Gurus asked us to do a post related to peace at home for Bloggers for Peace. Click on link for details and then go to inlinkz.com to see others’ posts.

The best advice I ever received regarding keeping the peace in a marriage was given to me at my wedding rehearsal by Henry Winkler, and no he is not a family friend. He just happened to be taking some of his friends on a tour of the church just prior to our wedding rehearsal. I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the video, but keep in mind that it was made over nineteen years ago before HD video was available.

I’m grateful that he took the time to offer his wonderful advice and that we have the video to remind us to follow it.