Head in the Sand?

“I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” ¬†Maya Angelou

I found this quote very insightful. Placing empathy with courage.

The last week or two I have witnessed loved ones go through difficult times. Their challenges were on very separate planes, but life shattering just the same. It has led me to reflect on a few terms.

Understanding- grasp an idea, perceive a meaning

Sympathy-feelings of compassion

Empathy-vicariously experience the same feelings/thoughts/attitudes

It seems to me that these words go in order. For me to reach a point of empathy, I first need to understand. Once I come to a place where I grasp what is happening, then I can have feelings of compassion. Empathy goes further, in that I embrace -not their experience, for it is their journey-but I can ‘hug’ them as I connect to their feelings.

That’s where the courage comes in. The courage to stop my crazy daily rush and demands to understand. Sometimes, I’d rather keep my head in the sand.

ostrich with head in sand

What I don’t know, I don’t have to respond to-I try to tell myself. Finding out about trouble will undoubtably call for response. There’s the courage. Do I have the courage to understand, thereby allowing me to feel sympathy, and ultimately to share empathy?

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Stephen Covey

 

 

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“Pet”scapes

“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do.” Edgar Degas

A dear friend gave me the gift of painting. She and I attended a painting class together. The class was designed to paint your pet. They wisely served wine at the class. We were all novice painters, and they had perhaps learned along the way that it is easier to instruct those who have taken the nervous edge off with a taste of the vine.

All of the painting students were to turn in a photo of their pet. That photo was turned into a pencil sketch on our canvas. When we arrived, we located the faint outline of our own pet, sat down, drank our wine, and wondered ‘How the hell am I going to do this?!” A little more wine, then we thought, “What the hell, let’s do this!”

My pet is all white. My friends pet had a zillion colors. My challenge was to capture Scampi’s white curls. Her challenge was to capture Maestro’s debonair style. I thought, “Hell, we better drink some more!”

scampi and maestro art

We were led through the class, and finished with a painting of our beloved pets. It was a moment in time, cherished with a friend, and captured in a work of art that will bring us a smile every time we see it.

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/a-moment-in-time/