The content of this post was unplanned. It was inspired by a perusal of my Facebook page.
Someone’s inquiry into ’empathy’ prompted a memory. Within the memory resides an invaluable lesson. Hopefully you’ll agree.
At the age of 18, I was adopted into a very privileged family. Though I loved all my siblings (they’re biological) I often felt jealous that they’d never have “real life” so brutally imposed upon them the way that I had.
I sort of poo-pooed their naïveté and esteemed my “experience” and “exposure”, believing that it somehow afforded me greater wisdom, perspective, and empathy.
But then my 4 year old sister taught me a lesson.
Once while sharing matter-of-factly of a childhood experience, I caught a glimpse of my sister in the rear view mirror. She was sobbing, without sound, taking in a visceral experience of the things that I shared.
My heart dropped. I realized that she was fully identifying with my little girl experiences. Her heart was broken for me. I understood then that I had violated her innocence.
She didn’t need to know (at that age) the things that I had known at her age.
From this I learned that there’s no need to experience the tragedy in order to identify with the victims of it.
Irrespective of your background, you possess a treasury of blessing to offer. Don’t discount your privilege or make apologies for it. Likewise, don’t esteem your adversity as though it single-handedly fashioned your character.
Within each of us resides a Divinely appointed capacity to bless and enrich the lives of those around us. When we live authentically, we live from this place of gifting and all that’s within effortlessly bleeds forth.
So, the moral of this story is… Live authentically and the whole world benefits.