I don’t consider myself a very empathic person.
That very sentence proves my point; I use words like “consider” and “thought”. I suppose if my speech patterns (blog patterns?) were analyzed there would be much fewer phrases like “I feel” and “I can just tell” than there would be “I think” or “I know”.
Tangent: To get any useful numbers an astute statistician would throw out my entire early childhood until about age 15 or so because it would completely skew the “I know” statistics. I said that so much my parents made me a shirt bearing the slogan so I could save my breath. Heck, I even named this blog along similar lines but only slightly tempered by 25 yrs of humility and fact checking.
The two older mermaids in my life have just started to show me what it means to be empathic, so consider this something like my entrance essay.
This morning I am up early, really early: 4AM
I only get up that early for two things: something fun and something loud.
Today it is fun for me; I am riding 100+ miles in a LiveStrong Challenge event in honor of Johnny Carbaugh who has stage 4 Metastatic Melanoma and is having one hell of a time. He is in the prime of his life and he wakes up at 4AM for the 10th or 15th time in a row not because he is going fishing and not because his wife heard a door slam but because his body is hurting him; it is screaming loud in his brain and in every other part of his body where the battle is being waged.
Getting up this early to ride my bike doesn’t feel like it’s hard anymore.
I have really only barely begun to feel what it means to be affected by cancer. It turns out that my empathy-weakness has helped to shelter my thinking self from even realizing the number of people very close to me and very close to people I am close to that have been affected by cancer.
Anne Marie Kilburg
I am sure there are more; I have only just scratched the surface. Feel free to enlighten me.
What I have seen, heard, and felt since I decided to do this ride is really only the tippy top of a very big iceberg. I thought, at the time, that I was doing this ride out of self interest and with a cause but I feel now like it is a need that has been knocking. It has been knocking so many times and only now that my learning in empathy has really begun in earnest am I able to understand what can be done, said, or felt.
So thanks to my beautiful wife and my empathic 6 yr old daughter for helping. As I see it, me and The Wee One have a lot to learn from you two.
Thanks to many donors I raised $830 that has been donated to LiveStrong so that people with cancer may live a better and less hurtful life in the future.
Now I will keep up my end of the bargain.