More Empathy, Please.

Health & Wellness

I woke up at 3:45 this morning…typical for a person who is almost 38 weeks pregnant. I had caught wind of the hashtag #FalconHeights as I drifted off to sleep the night before. Not again, not in our backyard, I thought, already reeling from the news of Alton Sterling. The footage flickering through my phone during these early hours of the morning was a real nightmare: a girlfriend suddenly witnessing the last moments of her boyfriend’s life, fatally shot by a police officer after a routine traffic stop, followed by the words of her four year old daughter, “It’s okay mommy. It’s okay, I’m right here with you.”

I’ve been wide awake since, trying to find a way to wrap my head around the global climate in 2016. Had you asked me ten years ago what the world would be like when I brought my first child into the world, I would have never, ever guessed it would have resembled the 1960s, let alone the early 1990s. The fractures defining our differences have widened into deep canyons and I fear they will become so large and deep we won’t be able to repair them.

Sadly, nothing is black and white and that’s what makes these events so difficult and painful to accept as reality. What we can do when faced with questions without answers is to combat our own fear and judgement with the practice empathy. Empathy is often confused with sympathy and I thought it would be a good time to share a snippet of Brene Brown’s talk on subject with you this morning. It’s OK to not know what to say and it’s normal to feel guilty for being born into circumstances that separate you from the experiences of our brothers and sisters. The worst thing we can do in this case is to look for a silver lining because there just isn’t one to be found. Not here, not today.

What is clear is the events that have transpired between minority communities and law enforcement for decades is unacceptable. I don’t know what else to say. I’m grieving what happened just a few miles from our house. I have empathy for my friends as they drive to work this morning, and I have empathy for the officers navigating this current social climate. I hope the child Joe and I will raise together can help shape a future that heals the divides I never thought our generation would be living through.

That’s all from me today.

BY Kate Arends - July 7, 2016

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21 Comments  +

add a comment

  1. C

    July 7th, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Thank you for this.

  2. Colleen McGroarty

    July 7th, 2016 at 10:41 am

    Thank you for using your platform and voice.

  3. Allison

    July 7th, 2016 at 10:57 am

    I clicked over here wondering whether & hoping that you’d said something. Thank you.

  4. Allison

    July 7th, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been struggling with how to put my own feelings into words, and your words are thoughtful and heartfelt.

  5. Stacy

    July 7th, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  6. Evita

    July 7th, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you for your words they moved me.

  7. sanayi tipi bulaşık yıkama makinesi

    December 5th, 2016 at 2:40 am

    thank you evita.

  8. mika

    July 7th, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Thank you for being a lifestyle blogger and using your voice to talk about the important things, because they matter.

  9. Maria

    July 7th, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Thank you for these words x

  10. oto cam

    December 30th, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    thank you;)

  11. Stacey

    July 8th, 2016 at 4:37 am

    Hear hear Kate. “Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thank you for speaking out on something so important that so many prefer to sweep under the rug. We all definitely need far more empathy.

  12. endustriyel firin

    December 14th, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    thankss. stacey

  13. Sarah Benjamin

    July 8th, 2016 at 6:35 am

    “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.” -Elie Wiesel

  14. What matters – Travel Lightly

    July 8th, 2016 at 8:29 am

    […] “More Empathy, Please” from Wit & Delight […]

  15. Jane

    July 8th, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Incredibly well-put. You write beautifully.

  16. Maria

    July 11th, 2016 at 6:35 am

    Thank you for this post! And, yes, empathy is a completely different thing.. and a lot more difficult to grow it in you.

  17. Paige

    August 1st, 2016 at 2:56 am

    Thank you so so much for using your platform to say something. It’s important and does not go appreciated. Thanks for being one of my favorite voices on the internet.

  18. Kate

    August 1st, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Thank you, Paige!! <3

  19. A Note To Our Readers - Wit & Delight

    November 14th, 2016 at 11:13 am

    […] a lot we can speculate and argue about, but two things are clear: hate will tear us apart and empathy will bring us […]

  20. hoa tinh yeu

    April 22nd, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy http://hoatuoishop.net/danh-muc/hoa-bo/ Những bó hoa đẹp nhất.

  21. hamur makinesi

    November 20th, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    thanks Incredibly nice.

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