The subject of Empathy is heavy on my mind and heart this morning. What is your experience with Empathy?
Here's my beginning thought - outline:
Definition: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Synonyms: compassion, sympathy, pity, feeling, concern, considerateness, consideration, tenderness, tender-heartedness, kindness, kind-heartedness, sensitivity, insight, fellow feeling, brotherly love, neighborliness, decency, humanity, humanitarianism, humaneness, charity, goodwill, mercy, mercifulness, gentleness, tolerance, lenience, leniency, warmth, warm-heartedness, affection, love
Usage: People often confuse the words empathy and sympathy. Empathy means ‘the ability to understand and share the feelings of another’ … whereas sympathy means ‘feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else's misfortune’ - (Oxford online dictionary)
* What makes a person able to experience empathy? Not able to connect with empathy?
* Is empathy an “imagining” in the mind of another being’s experience, or is it a “heart – gut – spirit” imagining or “knowing”? Is it a physical body feeling of it?
*Is empathy transitory / situational? What makes it "stick"?
* Does true empathy require shared or similar experience? Shared or similar suffering?
* Does empathy extend most easily to other beings most like ourselves?
* How is empathy cultivated and nurtured?