Thursday, June 10, 2021

Empathy Day

This #EmpathyDay step into someone else's shoes by reading their stories #ReadforEmpathy
~this year's theme

In the U.K., June 10th is Empathy Day.

Some teachers, authors, and students make "Empathy Resolutions." Many of the ones I saw mentioned being better listeners. Some students said they would try not to judge books by their covers (literally or figuratively, I wonder?).

I thought delving into fear was a useful, fresh take on empathy:

A quote from Nikki Giovanni:

Writers don't write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don't. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.

Lastly, a poem by Kim Stafford:

Curse of the Charmed Life
by Kim Stafford

Things pretty much worked out for you—
you have what you need, and if you need more,
you have people ready and able to provide.

Sure, someday your luck will run out,
you’ll be helpless, then gone, and your people
will gather in your honor.

There will be music, and tears. People will
embrace—for you. There will be an odd
buoyancy, a chatter of kind words, blessing.

But the curse of this charm is exile
from the unlucky, how gifts make you...

read the rest here


Carol's Corner has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Carol!


Carol said...

I love the idea of National Empathy Day. I wish my sixth graders were still in school because it would be a terrific day to celebrate with them. I love both the Grimes' quote and the Stafford poem. The Stafford poem makes me think about a situation that is going on in my neighborhood right now. Someday I will write about it...

michelle kogan said...

Oh yes, to feel, empathy, that what makes us human–to be without is to feel, strong poem, and what a grand idea to have an Empathy Day, thanks Tabatha!

Linda Mitchell said...

Thank you for this poem. It really gets to me. And, the Nikki Giovanni quote does too. Sometimes, there are young people that just shine with empathy. And, I wonder what has made it so. You give me something to really ponder today.

Linda B said...

To be able to "see" someone else's life is a gift parents could consider the greatest gift they could give their children. I didn't know about Empathy Day, maybe should be more often? We can learn from the poem by Kim Stafford about our lives lived. Thank you!

Elisabeth said...

How wonderful to have a day celebrating empathy, and kudos to all the teachers exploring that with their classes. Helping children and young adults recognize and name their emotions is such a powerful life skill.

This is a wonderful poem. I like how it flips the script on adversity/a charmed life, and reminds us what we gain from those most difficult experiences in our lives. Thank you for sharing this!

Denise Krebs said...

Tabatha, nice collection here on empathy. Thank you. I appreciate the quote especially by Nikki Giovanni. "Writers write from empathy." Powerful. "Curse of the Charmed Life" helps explore the importance of empathy--"Without hunger, it’s easy to be heartless."

Ruth said...

Empathy could change the world! Thanks for this, Tabatha. It's true that a little suffering is good for most people's character, I think.

jama said...

Wow, what a powerful poem!! I love the idea of Empathy Day, hadn't heard about it before. Empathy is so crucial to peaceful coexistence -- unfortunately we are seeing a lot of people right here in America who seem to lack it . . . also love Nikki's words.

Margaret Simon said...

I also think empathy can save the world. Poetry can help make us feel emotions we don't know from experience. Kim Stafford is an empathetic being. I met him long ago and loved listening to him speak. His father, William Stafford, is an icon but I feel more drawn to Kim's work. Love his book The Muses Among Us as a guide for the writing life.

Janice Scully said...

I too love the idea of national empathy day, though it's sad that empathy seems to have become rare, something to be taught, like a foreign language. Loved the poem and the quote you shared, both powerful.

Carol Varsalona said...

Tabatha, it is so important to have empathy for others in today's world. Thanks for the reminder. The final question in the poem is worth pondering: how can you
know what one life might do for another?

Sally Murphy said...

Wow. Such a powerful poem! And that quote about writers is spot on - it's something I have tried to put into words before, so am glad to have a quote to use! Thank you.

Mary Lee said...

You broke the poem on my favorite lines:
"the curse of this charm is exile
from the unlucky"

Here's to a continued focus on empathy!