Last week saw the start of my 52 Weeks of Kindness series. I’m thrilled at the response and that we have a chance together to make 2018 a year of kindness.
This week’s challenge or tip is to practice empathy.
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Empathy is about understanding. We may not have the exact experience of what another is facing and in some ways we may not get it at all but by practicing empathy we can truly listen and understand how the issue impacts another. We can understand that for them it is difficult or distressing. By practicing empathy we put our own judgement and preconceived notions aside and truly find understanding with another. This level of deep understanding has kindness rooted at its core. Empathy allows us a strong connection with another being and allows us to enter their world and share their view. It is a bond and it is a gift.
By beginning to practice empathy we can also become more aware of our own feelings and our own judgments leading us to be kinder individuals.
Empathy is free; it isn’t hard to do and we can all practice small elements of it in our daily lives.