The Art of Empathy
Found a simple and enlightened deconstruction of empathy (or understanding or love). So much has been said and written about it and in my field, we keep passing it on as begin with empathy. But what is it really?! The statement to walk in someone else’s shoes does not also seem to provide enough care and resolve in us to help. Had an interesting conversation with my Nanay (mom-in-law) over the weekend about solutions finding (particularly those offered by government) and we both conclude that the solutions themselves become a cause for more suffering (think public transportation and traffic solutions) because there is no clearly defined problem to begin with. Rewinding the steps further back, problems are ill-defined because there is no deep understanding of those people we want to help and their suffering.
Paraphrased from How to Love: Legendary Zen Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh on Mastering the Art of “Interbeing”…. To bring relief and help someone to suffer less is an art. If you don’t understand the roots of his suffering, you can’t help, just as a doctor can’t help heal your illness if she doesn’t know the cause. You need to understand the cause of the other or a loved one’s suffering in order to help bring relief.
The more you understand, the more you love; the more you love, the more you understand. They are two sides of one reality. The mind of love and the mind of understanding are the same.
Thank you @brainpicker for my regular dose of feeding and lovely illustrations.