Sunday, September 29, 2013

"tonight all is silence in the world as we take our stand....."

"Those who do not weep, do not see."- Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

We create our own distance from others. Either we refuse to acknowledge viewpoints other than our own or we deny others human dignity. We rationalize events as insignificant or we simply pretend people don't exist. We desensitize and dehumanize. We perpetuate our lack of empathy when we continuously read or hear of "Gunmen in Nigeria Kill  21 Sleeping Students" , " 67 Die in Kenyan Mall Siege" or" Bus Blast in Pakistan Kills 17". "They" are barbarians, "they" don't believe what we believe, "they" must all deserve what happened to them. Unless tragedy knocks on your own door, a statistic remains a statistic. We know there was a living, breathing human life behind each news headline number, a man, woman or child who felt love, hate, passion and pain but we distance ourselves. We ignore or push away the incredible sadness to avoid thinking of our own mortality. 
Feeling that emptiness and sadness is an essential part of our own humanity. Writer, actor, comedian and gifted storyteller Louis CK  shares a personal poignant moment of his own human experience in the video above.

“Emptiness which is conceptually liable to be mistaken for sheer nothingness is in fact the reservoir of infinite possibilities.”  penned Daisetsu Teitaro (D.T) Suzuki,  Japanese author of books and essays on Buddhism, Zen and Shin. Suzuki was instrumental in spreading interest in both Zen and Shin (and Far Eastern philosophy in general) to the West.  Perhaps those infinite possibilities include understanding our own painful life lessons, acknowledging our fear and loneliness. Our shared perceptions and ideas have the ability to ease the suffering of others. Infinite possibilities include our own visions and insights, finding beauty and purpose in the world and most importantly the deep healing wisdom of storytelling and humor.

 (below is a link to six ideas for inspiring empathy)

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