M3 and Associates
Anonymous Person in PA
The Bike Ride For Empathy
What is empathy? It's the act of "putting yourself in another person's shoes."
It's affirming their humanity, expressing understanding of their situation, and feeling with them.
Empathy is one of the most compassionate gifts we can give to those who are hurting and suffering.
There are four qualities in empathic encounters:
1. Perspective taking. The ability to recognize someone's perspective as their personal truth.
2. Staying out of judgment. (Giving people the grace to be themselves and share freely.)
3. Recognizing emotion in other people.
4. Communicating understanding.
If you like this, you might enjoy Brene's talks on
and shame. :)
Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes?
Empathy says, "It's not about me! It's about the people around me."
Empathic people avoid futile attempts to "fix" or give shallow advice to others.
Instead, their attitude is, "When you can't look on the bright side, I will sit with you in the dark."
When we commit to being empathic, it forces us to become better listeners.
Personally, some of my most meaningful encounters have been with people who've shown empathy to me during hard times.
Michael Sahota created an excellent visual that shows common ways well-meaning people block empathy to protect themselves from feeling.
"Imagine someone is in emotional distress," he writes, "By blocking their emotions from our reality, we can avoid acknowledging
and connecting to their pain. In the short run, this is great – we avoid pain. In the long run,
we destroy the fabric of our relationships and our environments... Read Entire Column
Empathy communicates "you are not alone."
Start (February 9, 2017): San Diego, California
Finish: Titusville, Florida Click the map to view it at a larger size.
Cities on the route: San Diego CA; Yuma, AZ; Phoenix, AZ;
Safford, AZ; Las Cruces, NM; El Paso TX; Carlsbad, NM; Waco, TX;
Winnfield, LA; Natchez, MS; Troy, AL; Valdosta, GA; Titusville, FL.
I'm going a third time because of my love of cycling.
It's so much fun to document the trip; you never know who or what
you'll encounter each day. Of course, the fitness and sense of accomplishment are high on the list too.