Saturday, July 14, 2007
My understanding of empathy....
My understanding of empathy is based on a fundamental tenet that we all live in unique, complex circumstances and therefore we make decisions and/or formulate ideas based upon situational context and perspective...Given a particular societal manifestation [like the use of illegal drugs by athletes], Empathy is a higher-level cognitive or reflective process by which one attempts to actively understand not only his or her own unique contextual perspective but to extend this process to include a serious effort at understanding other people's unique and complex circumstances as well. The process of empathic contemplation is complicated as it is difficult enough to view others from an unbiased or objective viewpoint, but empathy requires one to take the next, more difficult, step by essentially trying to "see" the problem from another's complex contextual perspective [a view that is often quite contrary to one's own understanding]. Therefore by this definition empathy is not a spontaneous endeavor. Empathy requires one to do careful research. The practice of empathy at a societal level requires an in-depth understanding of that society's culture, history, power structures, etc. Do not confuse "empathy" with "sympathy" as they are very different concepts. Itz a hard concept for me to articulate and unfortunately itz even harder to put into action...so it goes...sadly we need a lot more empathy in the world today, we need less dogma and more empathy, less polarization and more empathy...So you're like: "What the heck???" Well, come on!!! How about a little empathy here!!! I just listened to an interview with Floyd Landis and I'm trying to empathize with the guy...but itz damn hard...but I think I'll buy his new book and start do some research and try to do me some empathic work on Landis...no sympathy, but I'll make an attempt at some empathy...I'll keep ya posted :)
See what happens when I don't feed the rat: Rest day in anticipation of the National Championships for 24 hours @ 9 mile...At this point in the season, the best a guy like me can hope for is to arrive in Wausau well rested...I've been training consistently for decades, so a little time off can only help me...Two weeks from right now [7:18 p.m.], I'll be 9 hours and 18 minutes into it...pretty cool...About 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning; thatz when I'll need some serious "sympathy." Note: Not gettin' a lot of sympathy or empathy around here lately!!! :)