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Thorndike, ME
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Blog

I HOPE TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO PAUSE FOR A MOMENT,
ADMIRE THE CLOUDS, CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN, GAZE AT THE STARS,
TRAVEL TO THE DESTINATION YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO VISIT,
OR JUST GET OUT TO EXPLORE YOUR OWN BACKYARD.

Empathy Must Be Cultivated

Jlynn Frazier

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Empathy must be cultivated. The practice of empathy means taking a moment to imagine how you might behave if you were in our positions. Do not tell us how we should act if we were you; imagine how you would act if you were us. Imagine living in a society where your white skin marks you for disgust, hate, and fear. Imagine that for many moments. Only when you see black folks as we are, and image yourselves as we have to live our lives, only then will the suffering stop, the hurt cease, the pain go away.
— Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America

Empathy must be cultivated in all facets of our lives. It is not any one person's job. It's every person's job. To seek within ourselves the awareness to imagine what life might be like stand in someone else's shoes.

Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Uncomfortable is not a bad thing. It is uncomfortable because it challenges the status quo of our lives.

It was not until college that I became aware of the ways in which I had accepted the status quo and the ways in which my voice had been silenced. Also, the ways in which I had been part of a system that was silencing those around me. Whether gender, race, class, religion or any other term used to name someone as "other" is a silencing. It is a dangerous power dynamic. And we are seeing, feeling, and living this danger in a very public way right now. 

Empathy.
Let us grab hold of this movement.
Empathy. 
Let us grow and cultivate empathy, dare to step into the light.
Empathy.
Let us allow empathy to be the lens through which we connect with people and places around the world. 
Empathy.
Let us join together.
Empathy. 

I'm far from perfect. In fact, I think I have a really long way to go. I am owning my journey and my story. We are all evolving. Today, let us stand together and take a step, however small, to evolve in our capacity for empathy.  


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