As I listened to my podcast this morning (Stuff You Should Know), I was kind of struck by. . .I don’t know. . .feelings? Now normally my morning commute is filled with feelings, but they’re more of the “why are you in the fast lane going 60 mph” variety. These were the warm, fuzzy types. The topic was empathy, and it put me in that “love thy fellow man” place. Then I googled it when I got to work (um. . .before I clocked in) and found this great visual showing the difference between terms that are often misunderstood or used interchangeably. I love visuals.
This neat infographic was designed by Robert Shelton, a psychologist in a Californian high school.
Source: Robert Shelton
I like to think of myself as a fairly empathetic person, and I really enjoy the times that I’m reminded of how much we can do and be for each other. Funny that just thinking about that kind of positivity makes me feel better. Mmmmm. Like things are a little brighter (even though it’s overcast), smiles are a little easier, birds come and land on my shoulder. . .wait. . .nope, I’m not Sleeping Beauty. Honestly, birds scare me a little. You get what I mean. Things are just a little better.
I recommend you all listen to the podcast on empathy (and browse through their archives, some good stuff in there). The SYSK guys present informative material and are really down to earth. Also, I’ll be assigning homework. Haha! Not really. But I would like to spread the positive vibes, so I’m going to encourage you to consider the following. Offer to help someone who looks like they need it. If you’re in an argument, try to be the bigger person. Put yourself in their shoes/see things from their perspective. Remember to be thankful everyday for. . .something. . .anything. Even if you feel like there’s nothing (and hey. . .been there. . .it can get better). Find something beautiful in your environment, get out of your head, let go of anger. Breathe.
I can remember a time my husband and I went out to eat in Santa Cruz one evening. As we left the restaurant, he had a scoop of ice cream that we had gotten to-go and he didn’t really want it anymore. Instead of throwing it away, he approached a homeless man in a wheelchair and offered it to him. The homeless man accepted the ice cream gratefully and the look on his face was absolutely priceless. Such a small gesture and it had such a wonderful result.
Let’s try to get some stories here. Tell us all about a time that you either helped someone out, or solved a disagreement with empathy, or. . .whatever. Feel-goods, people. . .feel-goods. I want to hear your feel-good stories. Please share. Let’s get everyones inner hippie singing.
11 – I’m going to start keeping track of how many ellipses I use in each blog post.
I ❤ ellipses!
You can check out my previous blog post on podcasts here.