We live in a world where joy and empathy and pleasure are all around us, there for the noticing
I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it
“Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”
"So much of the toxicity in this world comes from a collective draining of empathy. We don't understand each other, and we don't want to. But theater invites us -- no, forces us -- to empathize." -
"A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish" [Isaiah 42:3]. The Lord's Servant would be sympathetic and understanding with the weak and erring. Failing men and women are often crushed under the callous tread of their fellowmen; but not so with the ideal Serfvant. He was to specialize in mending bruised reeds and fanning the smoking wick into flame.
Many, even Christian workers, ignore those who have failed and "pass by on the other side." They want a ministry more rewarding and more worthy of their powers--something more spectacular than bearing with the relapses and backslidings of frail humanity; but it is a noble work to reclaim those whom the world despises. How dimly Peter's wick burned in the judgment hall, but what a brilliant flame blazed on the day of Pentecost! His interview with God's ideal Servant put everything right.
one of the central problems of both frightful witnessing and representation: the limits of sympathy and language.
the anguish in the nurses' memoirs lies not only in gender difference but in its fraught relation to traumatic witnessing and the limits of empathy: in the awareness of the incommensurability and absoluteness of physical pain.
But there lay a deeper emotional and ethical crisis: the limits of empathy when the nurse was faced with the absoluteness of physical pain.
The pain of one creature cannot continue to have a meaning for another. It is almost impossible to nurse a man well whose pain you do not imagine. A deadlock!
There are times when my heart fails me; when my eyes, my ears, my tongue, and my understanding fail me; when pain means nothing to me.