Sympathy and Empathy

To love is to weep with them that weep, to suffer with them that suffer, and to feel the agony of heart with them whose hearts are broken.—D.B.B.


Everyone has some habit or mannerism that others find annoying. Instead of letting such quirks cause you to be critical and drive a wedge between you and others, try to think about why they’re that way. If you put yourself in their place and try to understand them and their background better, you’ll almost certainly become more tolerant and understanding of them and find it easier to love them. “If I were in their position now, what would I need or want? What would make me happy or encourage me? What would hurt?” Seek to understand their struggles and fears, and you won’t have a hard time connecting with them or loving them. If you find it hard to relate to people this way, ask the Lord for the gift of empathy—the ability to identify with and understand another person’s feelings or difficulties.—S.S.


What really matters

Carl was driving to work one morning when he bumped fenders with another motorist. Both cars stopped, and the woman driving the other car got out to survey the damage.

She was distraught. It was her fault, she admitted, and hers was a new car—less than two days from the showroom. She dreaded facing her husband.

Carl was sympathetic, but he had to pursue the exchange of license and registration data.

She reached into her glove compartment to retrieve the documents in an envelope.

On the first paper to tumble out, written in her husband’s distinctive hand, were these words: “In case of accident, remember, Honey, it’s you I love, not the car.”—Adapted from Paul Harvey


Cultivating love and respect

Charles Schwab was passing through one of his steel mills one day at noon, when he came across some of his employees smoking. Immediately above their heads was a sign that said, “No Smoking.” Did Schwab point to the sign and say, “Can’t you read?” Oh, no, not Schwab. He walked over to the men, handed each one a cigar, and said, “I’ll appreciate it, men, if you will smoke these on the outside.” They knew that he knew that they had broken a rule, and they admired him because he said nothing about it and gave them a little present and made them feel important. Couldn’t keep from loving a man like that, could you?—Dale Carnegie


Walk a mile in his shoes

Sometimes good, sometimes bad,
Sometimes happy, sometimes sad,
Everybody sometimes falls and needs a friend.
Sometimes weak, sometimes strong,
Sometimes right, sometimes wrong,
Everybody sometimes falls and needs a friend.

Walk a mile in his shoes.
Don’t put down, criticize, or accuse.
Take the time to feel the things he’s going through.
See just how it feels to walk a mile in his shoes.
Words can bless, words can curse,
Make things better, make things worse.
Every time you throw some dirt you lose some ground.
Words can damn, words can save,
Take a weak one, make him brave.
Every time you help someone you gain some ground.
Michael Fogarty

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