Ripples #1046: Empathy

1999-2019: Celebrating 20 Years of Ripples
Ripples #1046: Empathy.
June 10, 2019


Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.
–Alfred Adler
shared by Beth in Milwaukee, WI


Many people believe that support is something that you give to someone you feel sorry for or that it means propping up someone who would fail unless you were there to give him a boost. But that’s not the way I see it. Support is the boost you can give someone who can help himself but who needs a partner to open a window or push aside a roadblock.
-Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy’s)
shared by Ann in Mason, OH


I’m just wrapping up a weekend spent with friends from grad school who traveled to Cincinnati for a weekend of movies, museums, meals and much merriment. While planning the weekend, we hadn’t realized that it was exactly 30 summers ago that our paths first crossed in Bowling Green, Ohio as we began our graduate studies at BGSU in the field of higher education.

Our journies have taken us in different directions–we’ve all enjoyed many successes and also endured some significant challenges. Even though we each have close friends and partners who provide consistent support on a daily basis, we reach out to each other a few times a year whenever we need help celebrating the good stuff and/or enduring the tough stuff. While we occasionally want advice or an outsider’s perspective on something, it is usually EMPATHY we are seeking, someone to affirm our experiences and validate our emotions. And also to remind us just how far we’ve come on our meandering lifepaths.

I hope you have some people in your life who know when to amp up their empathy, and I hope you make time to provide empathy to them as well. If you haven’t told them lately, make time today to reach out with a quick message of gratitude and appreciation.

The Ripples Guy

P.S. If you’d like a quick primer on empathy, I love this animated snippet of a Brené Brown talk:

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