Thursday, August 11, 2016

out into difference, in as to commonality

empathy, the final frontier

empathy is often pushed
as a way to understand the other,
the differences that nature, nurture, and environment develop in us,
by walking a mile in another’s shoes,
we can see the world differently,
though I can worry about how much
that could hurt the feet,

when I think about others important in my world,
I often wonder if they were able to empathize,
my own mother was full of love and sympathy,
yet it seems she could not really feel as another,
in another case, when a parent seemed unable to quite "get" a child,
I wonder how much the problem was an inability to jump into those shoes,

I’m beginning to imagine empathy 
as an even greater power than I’ve ever realized before,
for I feel now that understanding and appreciating difference.
though a wonderful step in itself, can be even more wonderful
if one can find commonality in the drives beneath us all,

take food as an example
and feel how the hunger within
can be satisfied with such different answers,
there’s hunger in the soul, too,
a need to make a difference,
a need to use one’s gifts in what feels right,
the conservative and the liberal
both want to renew and support the body politic,

I am close to realizing
that the way out into our differences
can be the way in to our commonality,
into how the maker within
uses each of us differently,
and that we each are making
the best difference in the world we can.

by Henry H. Walker
August 10, ‘16

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