Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Empathy in a Time of Uncertainty - Heartful Art by Raphaella Vaisseau

Today is March 31, 2020. Most of us have been staying at home for awhile now as the people of the world come to grips with the pandemic of Covid_19. Anna Galland posted a tweet over two weeks ago on March 16th that I came across today and I feel it's still relevant: "You can safely assume that everyone you talk to today has *something* going haywire personally ..." All of us, around the globe, are finding ways to cope, discovering new ways of being, and for some, enduring the day to day challenges of saving lives. I think we can all agree that gratitude helps. Empathy does too.
     I'm reminded of a quote by Henry David Thoreau: "Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?" Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Merriam-Webster goes further: "Empathy is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner."
     A friend in Denmark, Melinda Knudsen, offers empathy counseling through her company, Empathy Catalyst. A student and practioner of nonviolent education, Melinda offers empathic support and communication coaching to groups and individuals around the world. A perfect skill for the challenges we face during this unusual time of our lives.
     As Anna reminds us, "Be kind. We're all figuring this out." If you're struggling, Melinda may be able to help. Find her on Facebook.
-Raphaella Vaisseau


Melinda Knudsen said...

Thank you Raphaella for a lovely reminder and for including my work in your blog post! It can be harder to access our empathy for others when we're under extra stress and in times like this when many of us are experiencing challenges all the more important.

Robin Altman said...

Thank you Rahphaella! I really agree. I've always had a keen sensitivity to how other people feel. Sometimes it overwhelms me but I've figured out how to take care of that more now. Compassion is so important though. Nice to post about Melinda! Good to share these friends!!

Love you fellow artista!! ~Robin