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The Healing Power of Empathy

Last week, I mentioned a video on how Koreans of different ages and life circumstances reacted to meeting a young Korean lady with vitiligo.

The clip below shows the older lady who was courageous enough to honestly say that she could not accept someone with such a visible issue as her daughter-in-law. I received a few messages from readers who expressed empathy for this view.

I agree that she should be respected for honestly expressing her stance - it's perfectly understandable.

The point that I hope she and others like her have a chance to consider is this: what if it was her own daughter who had vitiligo and was rejected for it by prospective in-laws? What would her view be then?

This isn't really about vitiligo. Rather, it's a matter of how deeply we try to understand another person's situation, free of our own biases and wishes.

Persistent conflict between individuals, political parties, and even nation states ultimately comes down to a refusal or inability to temporarily put aside one's own views and wishes, and to give the other side sincere empathy, doesn't it? How much healthier would relationships be if one side could hit the pause button on their own hurts and preferences to give the other party a chance to feel deeply understood and cared about?

It's with a bit of sadness that I acknowledge that I'm at a point in life where I've come to see that for any number of reasons, this isn't always possible. But being an optimist and not wanting to pass on with big regrets, I think I will always err on the side of trying to bring about healing for myself and those in my circle of life. It's only after I feel I've tried my best and can see that the other side is not open to or able to do the same when I accept the situation for what it is and carry on, focusing my life energy on the things I love and wish to support in the world.

#Empathy #공감 #ConsciousLiving #깨어있는존재 #Vitiligo #백반증


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