To me, living life without Empathy, is a life not worth Living.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Care4all, May 31, 2009.

  1. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    All this talk about some of the things Obama's said about his SC nominee including being empathetic, and then Manifold's sig line where he mentions empathy as well and what he thinks of it...:eusa_whistle:....has lead me to thinking about empathy and whether it truly is just a "girl's thing" as mani's sig suggests?

    And I truly do not want this to have any political discussion in it, I want it to be about you and about me, and experiences where you felt empathy and how it hurt or helped you or was no effect at all, on who you became or who you were as a person, deep inside of oneself?

    Honestly, I just couldn't live life without it! :eek: (One strike in Mani's favor of it being a "girl" thing)

    I remember once, I was in Dallas, at the Dallas Merchandise Mart, with a group of sister buyers of other Divisions of a Department Store that I bought for at one time...sister buyers are buyers from other divisions that bought the SAME area of merchandise as you did....in this case, it was Women's Moderate Shoes...we were in a presentation from GH Bass, showing us their products, there were 7 of us, plus our Divisional Merchandise Managers, plus the Vp of all of shoes, and the GMM of all of Shoes for the corporation present....

    And before we could get down to the nitty gritty of the actual presentation of their new seasonal shoe line, we had to view a couple of preview videos of their new Ad campaign they planned on running in the Fall with Our Tag Name in the ad, IF we bought this certain category of shoes they were going to introduce....yahdeedah....

    So, they turned out the lights, and the video was a "lifestyle" ad...this is an ad that wants to give you a feeling, a good feeling about a product, but hardly show the product being advertised, other than the Logo in the end so you associate the 'good feeling' with the Brand Name 'X', not necessarily a specific item....as an ad for a product on sale would be very specific about the item itself, in most off price or good value situations.

    Anyway, lights off...ad rolling, and it was some older gentleman, (at least to me at that time :) ) with a grandchild toddler on his knee while he was sitting in a rocking chair or a swing chair on the front porch, with the flowers in the background blowing in the fields of mixed sun and shade from the big oak looking trees... that could have a tree house in them the limbs were so big, and other children in the fields holding hands and going in circles like in the game ring around the roses....and so many other details I can't begin to list, that gave me....my age group, an emotional response when viewing an ad like this particular one...

    so the ad ends with the Voice Over narrator talking about the type of person that appreciates the good, casual things in life, like family and nature....is the person that wears GH Bass shoes...only not necessarily in the simple terms that I put it....

    Well, thank God we were in the dark because i shed a tear when i was watching the ad, and my hanky was close at hand, so i was able to hide it. And it had NOTHING to do with the Shoes in the ad of who gh bass wanted to claim as a wearer of their product...or even the setting, which was farm like, and I had never lived on a farm in my life....I mostly lived on Air Force bases and only occasionally lived 'off base' and usually in a neighborhood with other houses, so it was none of that that reached my emotions....

    the older gentleman sitting there with toddler, bouncing on his knees is what tugged at me....seeing him so happy and his grandchild looking up at him in glee, just giggling...

    I could feel what that Happy feeling could be...I could empathize...I could feel the the fun they were having and the love they seemed to share, and I could 'sense' the atmosphere, the smell of the meadow in front of them with wild flowers blowing in the breeze....so I shed a "happy tear" for them or the "them" that could be out there with those same utopia like circumstances , but then....

    But then, for a nano second, I thought about Matt and me, living in the city, me on the road and away from home weeks at a time, me being barren and matt and I never being able to have children together, no flowers, or grass for that matter, or trees, or any fields of dreams in sight, no sweet smells of nature....and it made me sad....so a sad tear was shed.

    Wiped them off, in the dark and got my head on straight and recaptured my emotions before the big wigs had a slight chance of noticing and continued working....

    So, I could feel what this gentleman was expressing in this ad...i could put myself there and see and feel, 'it was a GOOD THING', to me. ( I know all of this has all been created by a hired marketing firm for gh bass...keep that in mind, but don't let that rule my story)

    But putting myself in this man's shoes, made me want to be in those shoes....on a porch in a rocking chair, with wild flowers blowing in the meadows, creatures of all kinds eating from the berried trees and bushes, and the sweet smells of nature....instead of concrete and stucco, exhaust fumes...and Airport nightmare stories that would give the best of the best of the nightmares, a run for their money, with a spare palm tree or oak tree popping up here or there.

    So, in this particular case...without even realizing it at the time, the empathy I felt, the putting myself in the shoes of the man in the ad...10 YEARS before Matthew and I actually did it, was the catalyst that lead us here to Maine, with a Meadow filled with wild flowers, blowing in the breeze, with berry and fruit trees abound, nature's creatures as friends,

    and the seeking of the good life, that I could "feel and sense" was good, in that ad a decade earlier...(minus the rug rat, which never came in to fruition for us,) had finally been achieved.

    Here's another one, only a shorter story...

    Matt was a coworker, knew him for a few years before we ever dated and during this period we became friends...he dated other girls, I dated other boys and we talked to each other about everything and all...true friends.

    Then he got transferred away to another Division, across the state, kept in touch via work...then a year or two later, I was transferred to the same division and not having friends yet in this new region he and I became closer friends again, and he showed me around town when i first was settling in...

    well Matt gave me some cassette tapes of his, of songs he had writen and him performing them...maybe about 8 of them on this cassette...I began listening to it on my way in to work and on the way home from work...

    His songs and the words of the songs were so heart wrenching....great songs where you could feel the poetic pain he wrote about...well, I had lived enough 'life', at this point in the couples game, and could really EMPATHIZE with nearly every word he sung, in every song he had on that cassette my stomach turned or my heart ached or my eyes shed a tear because I could feel this pain, empathize with that sort of pain...and being that i knew about some of the Bimbo's he was singing about because we were virtually best friends for a while already and talked a lot....it nagged at me.

    Not in a bad way, but I think this actual moment of empathy that I was feeling for matthew was a realization of how deep with feelings he really was....not just the typical guys that I had come to know that had 'one interest', foremost, always and the other emotions rarely showed up....

    This was obviously noted by me...

    and to make this long story short, a few years later, we were married and have been for nearing 2 decades.

    I guess in conclusion, from my own personal experiences...and not limiting it to just the two mentioned above, I don't know where I would be, without empathy, without being able to empathize or put myself in a circumstance or a situation of another human being and feeling what they feel....and I don't want POLITICS to change the meaning of "having empathy" in to a dirty political word that's been hijacked in to meaning something BAD.

    care
     
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  2. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    Thank you for sharing all of that Care.

    Of course empathy is what makes us human. How does one not care about their fellow humans, honestly?



    Hell, I stopped eating meat when I was 14, because I couldn't imagine eating a dead animal!

    I started volunteering at a camp for special needs kids when I was 13, which my mom and some other ladies helped to start, and knew even that, that's what I wanted to do the rest of my life. I need those kids as much as they need me.

    I cry at stuff too Care, I'm not ashamed to admit I have empathy for others. Why do people think it's a "bad" thing I wonder?
     
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  3. Sarah G
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    Sarah G When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left Supporting Member

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    It's great to be empathetic, we just don't want to see it in our judges when they are working. We tend to think someone like that will be partial and even unfair to those who are not in the relm of empathy that judge feels.

    Having said that, I don't feel Sotomayor would be unfair in any way. She's very professional and smart.
     
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  4. Bootneck
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    Bootneck Diamond Member

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    Can you spot the one without empathy?


    A Priest, a Doctor, a rich Businessman and a Scotsman were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers in front of them.

    The Doctor shouted to them, "I've never seen such poor golf!"

    The Scotsman chimed in, "Och aye! We ha' been waitin' for nigh on fifteen minutes!"

    The Businessman called out, "Move it on you guys, time is money."

    The Priest said, "Here comes George the greenkeeper. Let's have a word with him."

    "Hello, George!" said the Priest, "What's wrong with that annoying
    group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"

    George the greenkeeper replied, "Oh, yes.. That's a group of blind English fire fighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free, anytime they want to."

    The group fell into an embarrassed silence for a moment.

    Then the Priest said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."

    The Doctor said, "Good idea. I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist colleagues and see if there's anything they can do for them."

    The Businessman replied, "I think I'll donate £350,000 to the Fire Brigade Benevolent Fund in honour of these brave souls."

    And the Scotsman said, "Why kin they no play at night?
     
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  5. Vel
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    Vel Gold Member

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    People don't think empathy in and of itself is a bad thing. Personal empathy is a great and wonderful thing. It leads to the U.S. people being the most charitable in the world. Government empathy is a horror and leads to discrimination.
     
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  6. Valerie
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    Valerie Gold Member

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    Great stories Care! Thanks for sharing...and caring! :tongue:

    Of course empathy is not just a feminine thing, it's what separates boys who put firecrackers in frogs for amusement from boys who would never do such a thing.
     
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    Last edited: May 31, 2009
  7. random3434
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    random3434 Senior Member

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    Amen!

    And the boys who stop the boys from putting the firecrackers in the frogs...........:cool:
     
  8. Valerie
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    Valerie Gold Member

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    Are great men in the making! :D
     
  9. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    Empathy is a good thing in most cases.. The ability to feel what another feels or experiences.. though.. if your are right and the other guy is wrong and the judge rules for the wrong guy cause she has "empathy" well, that's not the way it works.. best way I know of to kill all empathy for anyone or group..
     
  10. RodISHI
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    RodISHI Gold Member

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    Don't think that some of the guys don't cry at those heart tugging moments because some of them do. That man that will have a heart big enough to care and even shed a tear over those little special moments are the keepers.

    Rod took my son hunting with him one day. They came home with a bunny rabbit. I looked at the poor thing and said, "Look at it's eyes how could you shoot something so beautiful?" Rod felt terrible and then I felt terrible. As a youngster he hunted and that is what helped feed his family.

    He has never hunted again since that day.
     

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