Thursday, January 13, 2011

Compassion and Empathy

Julie is home from Amarillo. She drove from Amarillo to Albuquerque, stopped at a grocery deli to pick up some items for lunch for the next day and spent the night in Albuquerque. The next day she was in Flagstaff and back to work by 1 PM.

During her trip home she stopped at a place to get something to drink. As she walked into the business she passed a man who was dirty, ragged and looking tired. He had a bicycle and a few items and may have been traveling across the country. She anticipated him stopping her but he said nothing.

As she watched him through a window she thought about how much she has and felt compassion for him. When she left the said hello and asked "Do you need some help today?" He replied he could use some help so she gave him $5 that she had ready.

This isn't the first time. A couple years ago I drove her to Albuquerque and she took a bus the rest of the way to Amarillo. On the bus she sat next to a Vietnam vet who was down on luck. She listened to his story before he dosed off to sleep. When she got off the bus he was sleeping so she slipped $20 in his shirt pocket.

These aren't the first times and won't be the last. I'm glad she's home and I'm glad she feels empathy and compassion.

Empathy: the intellectual identification of the thoughts, feelings, or state of another person

Compassion: deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it


Blogger jules said...

Good for her. I try to have a 'blessings' envelope in my purse just for that purpose.

1/19/2011 03:43:00 PM  

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