Tag Archive | diversity

There’s a place…❤

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“It takes all different kinds of people to run the world. We need everyone.”

I saw this quote (don’t remember where; it was on a photo) and find it so inspiring. 

“‘Cause there’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun”

Place in the sun – Winjama (reggae version) – mobile

Place in the Sun – Winjama – desktop

There are so many kinds of people in this world and we need us all. 

My dad used to watch the tv show The Sopranos every night a few months ago until all the seasons ended.

There’s a few episodes where a woman who is an FBI agent in the show pretends to be just a girl shopping at a mall I think, to deceive the girlfriend of a member of the Mafia so she can get information the police need.

They have been watching this man and his girlfriend for a while and an FBI agent tricks the girlfriend and they become close “friends.”

The girlfriend tells the agent things about herself and life she never told anyone, not even her boyfriend, because she feels so close to her.

The FBI agent is sweet and warm and very personable. She pretends to be a great friend to this other girl. Then the FBI people decide to tell the girl the truth, that this new friend of hers is no friend at all but actually an agent of the FBI who has been watching her and her man. 

The FBI agent after confessing that’s what she is, all of a sudden is now assertive, no longer warm and sweet. She has a no nonsense way about her now. She’s all stiff and firm.

These are only fictional scenes in a tv show but real detectives and FBI agents for their job sometimes really have to pretend to be someone they aren’t and trick people, maybe even innocent people who get caught up in unpleasant stuff. 

I was imagining myself in the FBI character’s place and think I don’t have the heart to ever deceive an innocent person or even not so innocent person who trusts me into thinking we’re close friends and we’re really not. I wouldn’t have a job where I may have to do that. 

This girl is the lover of a member of the New Jersey Mafia but she’s just an innocent girl. She knows he’s a murderer and all and chooses to stay with him but she herself is just a regular person. She thought she had this new friend she was able to tell things to she felt she couldn’t tell anyone else, like the fact that she had an abortion years ago. 

Imagine finding out your closest friend is a fake? Maybe you don’t have to imagine. It’s a heartbreaking situation. 

When the FBI people approached her, not only was she terrified about the trouble they were in but she was heartbroken over the loss of “friendship” or what she thought was genuine friendship. I think this hurt her even more than the prospect of going to prison. 

I felt a range of emotions when I realized I can never be like that. I felt thankful that I don’t have it in me to be deceptive and trick an innocent person. I also felt a tinge of envy that I don’t have that kind of aggression or backbone, I guess you can say, like some do, to have a job like that, even though I don’t want that kind of job. And I also felt gratitude that there are people like that in this world, those who do have it in them to trick and deceive for work or other necessary situations. I am inspired.

I don’t want to have it in me to do that but I’m so thankful there are people who do. We need them. We need people who have the ability to be aggressive and deceive people because it’s sometimes necessary, like for certain jobs including police jobs.

Police, attorneys, doctors, and other people of certain professions are sometimes criticized for being cold, aggressive, detached, deceptive, immoral….but it’s actually a good thing that we have people who have a place in them where they can summon feelings of aggression, detachment, and other things that may seem unpleasant. 

We need people who can detach and not get worn out having to encounter so much suffering each day at work, like some doctors who have to work with dying people and dead individuals, detectives who have to investigate cases of homicide and other violence and horror….Imagine if they did not have the ability to detach or distance themselves to a certain degree. Many would probably experience burnout or breakdowns of some sort. This isn’t to say they aren’t compassionate or empathetic people ever, just that they have the ability to “turn it off” to a point when necessary. And it’s great to have people in the world who can temporarily put aside their general morals and conscience to do work that may call for it. Not everyone can do that. And for those who cannot, that’s good too.

It’s good if we have compassion and empathy and morals so strong and so constant that we can’t or won’t stop it. This world needs both, extreme empathy and strong sense of morality but also those with the ability to tune out of it in certain situations. 

We need people with extreme empathy for criminals, like forensic psychiatrists/psychologists. By empathy, I’m not referring to compassion here. I’m talking about the sharp ability to be able to “get into their heads” and truly understand them, why, how they do certain things, how/why they feel certain ways, the ways they reason. It doesn’t mean the professional person is justifying any of it or taking pleasure in it. It may seem creepy that someone can understand a murderous criminal mind so well and want to do that kind of work. But it’s so great we have people with that strength and desire. We need them. 

And for those who can’t even begin to understand the mind of a murderer and don’t want to ever understand, that’s great too! It’s great to be sane and good and “normal.”

In courtrooms we need people who have within them a place of aggression, maybe even callousness, people who can tear others to shreds for their jobs. Some jobs call for aggression, cold, clinical, ways. Warmth, softness, sap, sweet words and gestures are beautiful and needed in this world but not in every situation, not for every job, not with every person.  

I always thought if I were in a position to need a lawyer, like a defense attorney, I would prefer a woman because girls can be so vicious! Girls/women of all ages, even generally sweet, warm ones, just can have a kind of aggression or potential for aggression that men don’t have and a job as an attorney requires aggression. How wonderful it is to take that and use it for good or to be productive, helping out our system and helping people instead of using it to drag each other down.

Some jobs call for extreme compassion and not much aggression, like schoolteacher jobs and nurses or doctors or other caretakers, nursing home staff…. and it’s great to have people who are generally very nurturing and mild mannered. 

There are people who are very simple or generally lazy, not very motivated, or just don’t want to work much or not work at challenging jobs so have easy jobs (not everyone with an easy or no job is lazy or lacks motivation) and we need those people. We need professional people with big demanding careers and we need those with cashier jobs and janitorial jobs and desk (jobs which some see as “low” or frivolous)…..

I work at a store as a server and cashier and the job itself is unimportant. But it’s important to my boss to have employees helping with her business. And it’s important to the customers who come. 

Imagine if no one chose to take jobs as a janitor in buildings or a cashier or food server because the jobs are too “low” or boring and imagine if no one chose to be a doctor because it’s too sad or gruesome or demanding. Imagine if there were no lawyers because it’s an “immoral” job.

Imagine if there was no one with the strength and courage to be aggressive, detached, deceptive, bold….

We wouldn’t have anyone to be lawyers, doctors, detectives….all of which we need. 

In a fiction book I read recently (I don’t remember which one but it may be ASBO or Housemates both by Iain Wright {horror novelist}) there are these thug people, physically strong and aggressive and can overpower just about anyone they want. They are some kind of gang members or organized murderers and one of them tells one of their “victims” that he could never be strong or tough enough to do what they do.

And at first I kind of thought of that as a bad thing. Being wimpy and physically weak isn’t good. Just because we’re not gang members and don’t abuse our power over others doesn’t mean we’re weak or wimps but it’s good to be able to have the power and strength to defend ourselves against attacks by others. There’s nothing wrong with being strong and powerful as long as we don’t abuse it. 

But then the character in the book says he is happy he doesn’t have what it takes to be a murderer or gang member, that he would never want to be.

There may be some people who don’t ever want to be in a gang or have a certain job but still wish they had the strength or courage to do that kind of work.

But this character is thankful he doesn’t even have what it takes. 

It’s great to be “tough” and “streetsmart” and physically strong and bold but it’s also good to be innocent and not even have it in us to be like that. We need us all. 

And we don’t just need everyone for the jobs we can do, but just for the beings that we are.

It’s great and ok to have outgoing people, shy people, those who are soft and those who are badass…

Short people and tall people, those with much energy and motivation and those who just want to keep it simple, loud and quiet, and those with a combination of characteristics, religious and non religious, light skin, dark skin, blonde, brunette, orange hair, purple hair, tattooed, pierced, hetero., homo., bi/pan, lgbtqa, healthy, sick, disabled, young, old, introverted and extroverted, financially rich, poor, homeless, jobless, career people and stay at home parents…logical, creative, spiritual, artistic, skeptical, grounded, idealistic, realistic, wild & adventurous, safe & cautious, romantic, dreamers, simple, complex, human, animal, insect……there’s a place for us all. 
We can all teach and learn, all have hopes, fears, needs, desires….all ultimately want to avoid suffering. 

People with less power or resources than us can teach us or remind us of compassion and those with more can inspire us. 

Each situation we experience can teach or remind us something , awaken our wisdom deep within, each person can open a new door for us if we allow it. 

We can see the positive in everyone and the worth of every being no matter the species, size, religion, color, status, nationality, profession…..if we pay attention. 

We all have different weaknesses and strengths. 

We all complement each other and bring balance to the world. There’s always going to be beings and situations that need and call for just what we can provide. Maybe it’s our compassion, our aggression, our softness, our bold personality, our determination, our calmness, our passion, our acceptance, our sarcasm, our soothing energy, our knowledge of  seemingly trivial things, our ability to be deep and serious, our ability to be lighthearted and carefree, our simplicity or our complexity, our “tough-love” or our smothering, warm, sappy love ….that the situation calls for or that someone needs at the moment.

Not all of us can be or provide all of these things and that’s ok. We can all be and provide something when it’s appropriate. We all have gifts and skills that others do not. 

If we or our beautiful qualities are not needed in a certain situation or not desired by a certain someone, it’s not because someone else or some other way is better. It’s just that different people and different situations need different people and things. 😀

There’s always going to be someone who is better for someone or something than someone else. And that’s ok. 

The world needs us all. 👪

We can bask in the beauty of our Oneness but also appreciate diversity and see the beauty in it. 💙

Remember, it takes various kinds of people to run our world. 

We need everyone.  

❤ ❤
<33

Much love & light to you always & forever,

Xoxo Kim 

True Beauty <3

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This isn’t my photo but I love the message that our size isn’t what truly makes us beautiful. Our personality is what is true beauty.

But also, physical beauty is not wrong to celebrate & appreciate and there are beautiful girls (both physically and inside) of all sizes, colors, ethnicities, nationalities, cultures, religions, ages…all around the world.

Let’s build each other up and celebrate diversity & beauty of all kinds. ❤

Hugs & love,

xoxo Kim

Everything is beautiful <3

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“Everything is beautiful
In its own way
Like a starry summer night
Or a snow covered winter’s day
Everybody’s beautiful
In their own way
Under God’s heaven
The world’s gonna find a way”

I love the message of this song. I don’t believe in any gods but the message is beautiful! It’s true there’s beauty in everything & everyone; we just have to open our minds and see, feel. And it’s true, if we open our minds to see beauty in everyone and everything, the world will find a way. ❤

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“There is none so blind
Than is he who will not see
We must not close our minds
We must let our thoughts be free
For every hour that passes by
You know the world
Gets a little bit older
It’s time to realize
That beauty lies
In the eyes of the beholder”

“We shouldn’t care
About the length of his hair
Or the color of his skin
Don’t worry about
what shows from without
but the love that lives within
We’re gonna get it all together now
Everything gonna work out fine
Just take a little time
to look on the good side my friend
And straighten it out in your mind”

Get that mind focused on Metta.

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/on-empathy/

https://inspirationalgem.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/offering-the-victory-universal-love-3/

Late last night, we actually got Snow here in Philadelphia! But it only snowed for a few minutes, not enough to collect on the ground but enough to collect on the windchimes and things on the ground, trash can lids…

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My phone doesn’t often take good pictures in the dark. It was nearly 12:00AM and when I woke up in the morning, the sun was out and the snow was gone! It’s still freezing cold today though! And I’m seeing & feeling beauty everywhere!  

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Thank you for the sweet messages on some of my posts! I will respond soon! I was without wifi most of the day at work and just got home. I always appreciate comments/messages & likes & shares!!! ❤ It was so cold at work so I had hot cocoa & tea!! yummy! :-p 😀

Everything is Beauty – Ray Stevens – mobile

Everything is Beautiful – desktop

Much love,

xoxo Kim

Love & Compassion <3

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(this is not my photo..)

I agree, I don’t eat meat or wear fur or support killing animals for food, clothing, or sport and don’t support animal testing and I do not kill any insects or rodents intentionally, I cherish their lives, but I also do not support violence or hostility against people who don’t agree with me on this and don’t think “less” of them, I’m in no position to. There’s no doubt in my mind that many/most people who consume meat products are just as compassionate as I am. There’s nothing wrong with stating my views to people in appropriate contexts/situations, writing about them, signing/sharing things to help end animal cruelty and other things involving animals but I don’t have to be in people’s faces with it every chance I get, and criticize them in a destructive way. I don’t have to act like my morals are better than anyone else’s. I don’t freak out if people eat meat around me or anything. I won’t throw stuff on your fur clothing or destroy science labs and scientists’ vehicles and other property.
I can be firm in my views, confident, and passionate but still accept others, no matter what our differences are. Some people think if we’re very passionate about some specific issue and someone is on the opposing side, we can’t be compatible with one another without compromising/weakening our own views or passion or morals. When I was young I felt this way about certain issues but as I grew up and practice universal love more and more, deeper and deeper, I now know that’s not true. My greatest passion is love and compassion, all encompassing love. I won’t reject someone as a friend/lover/acquaintance….because we disagree. Also, “attacking” individual meateaters accomplishes nothing good or very little; it’s the corporations and government and people with more authority that would likely be best to contact. And individual people likely aren’t going to want to listen to us if we are going to be vicious, who wants to listen to someone who approaches us with hostility? And the main thing is to extend my compassion to everyone, whether or not we are in agreement or will ever be, on issues I am passionate about and whether or not that compassion is returned to me.
“Be love. Be so much love that when others are with you, they are love too.”
“The power of love has no limits.”

Love & Compassion – Parachute Club – mobile

Love & Compassion – desktop

❤ 😀

Hugs & love,

xoxo Kim

Me, Me, Me, Mine, Mine, Mine

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“The ideas of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ are the seeds of every problem in the world.”

This quote is out of the Kindle book “365 Wisdom Pills.”

It’s true, it’s so ingrained into us to think in terms of “me” and “mine” and “me,” “us” and “them.” 

It’s good to once in a while let the self dissolve into the Oneness. Realize we are a small part of a much larger Whole, the whole uni-verse. The world doesn’t revolve around me. I am not the most important aspect of life. Others have desires, opinions, convictions just as strong as mine. Life will not always work how I want it to.

Let’s give selflessness a try, let others go first, try to understand other views, ways, and accept diversity. It’s good to remember others feel just as strongly as we do and experience in similar ways. 

This is a great concept to think about!  

❤ 😀

Hugs & love, 

Xoxo Kim 

Free Hugz!!! <3 <3

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“Keep loving…everything you touch, everyone you see, they’ll soon become your family.” ~ Nimo Patel ❤

Hello loves! 

I have big plans for this weekend if everything works out as I hope it does! On Saturday May 2nd and Sunday May 3rd, it’s Global Free Hug Days and I will be participating! Sunday is the one day in all of my days that I hope it doesn’t rain! Can you believe it!? Lol me! Hoping it does not rain! While I would absolutely love to stand and hug in the rain, I know most probably prefer the sun. And many more people will probably be walking through the park in the sun. So I hope there’s some sun that day! And also on May 2nd for the ones participating that day! 

I don’t know that anyone else in Philadelphia is doing this because I signed up to find others in this lovely city who are also hugging so we can go together but no response! Maybe they just have their own groups and don’t care to meet up! 

I found this event on “Positive Focus” on Facebook months ago and been waiting and waiting! While “Positive Focus” is the organization hosting the event, the participants go on their own those days to wherever in the world they want to go and give hugs!    

Here are some of the benefits of hugging!

1.) possibly alleviates existential fears/fear of mortality for people with low self esteem – hugging may help allay our fears of death and dying 
https://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/touch-may-alleviate-existential-fears-for-people-with-low-self-esteem.html

Even hugging stuffed animals can help!

2.) stimulates oxytocin – promoting feelings of contentment, reduces anxiety and stress, helps cope with pain, helps with social bonding, linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate…

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128795325

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301051104001632

http://m.livescience.com/12833-love-hormone-oxytocin-dark-side.html

Just one brief hug releases these chemicals in the body! 

3.) Stimulates dopamine – the “feel good” drug responsible for preventing depression and things like Parkinson’s disease. Procrastination, self doubt, and lack of enthusiasm are all linked to low levels of dopamine. Dopamine is a pleasure hormone which is released in the brain and hugs can trigger it! Listening to music that thrills us can also help our brains to release it! 

http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2012/11/uconn-researcher-dopamine-not-about-pleasure-anymore/

4.) stimulates serotonin – when a person feels important, serotonin flows more. When serotonin is low, depression and loneliness can occur. Hugging helps this drug flow helping us feel less sadness and loneliness and helping us prolong life and has other positive benefits. 

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/232248.php

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2612120/

And many more benefits of hugging! 

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(me! :-D)

 I hope you will come and join me for Global Free Hugs Day if you are here in the beautiful Philadelphia!!  I will be at Rittenhouse Square on Sunday afternoon, May 3rd with free hugs & love for everyone and anyone!! We’re spreading a message of universal love & kindness for everyone all around the globe! And the message that every life matters.

Whenever we reach out to hug, to help, to heal, to comfort, to inspire, to uplift…we reach out in love. ❤

Check it out! 

http://www.positive-focus.com/ 

We will take pictures those days and send them to Positive Focus for their video. You can register here: 
http://www.positive-focus.com/about-gfh/gfh/

Or you can choose not to register and just go hug anyway!  

Heres the fb page for positive focus:

https://m.facebook.com/positivefocusnfp?_rdr

I’m using my phone so that’s the mobile website. Hopefully you will find the desktop one if you’re using a computer!

E mail them your pics at: hugs@positive-focus.com 

You can go alone and hug, with one or two people, or gather a large group and go together. I think i’ll be going alone except my mom will be joining me to take the pics. And maybe my sister.  I won’t be there real long as I have work that day. I have been waiting for months for this day! And I have so many fun ideas for the signs I’m making! I’m going all out! Lol  I’ll probably be there around 12:30pm.

No matter who you are, where you are, where you have been, where you’re going, what your views on anything are, skin color, ethnicity, experiences, sexual orientation, homeless or not, if I know you or never talked to or laid eyes on you, if I knew you at one point, if we had a falling out or ended on not good terms, still come and let’s hug! I’m here to provide hugs & love to everyone no matter what and show that every life matters.

No matter what problems or pain or dreams or goals or views or experiences we have, we are all in this together!

If you’re in Philadelphia, Pa that afternoon, come and hug me!! If not then I’ll be sending you virtual hugs! ❤

Much love to you always! And lots of big bear hugs! ❤

And don’t forget on Sunday afternoon I will he providing hugs! So come and get your love!

“You may say 
I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world will live as one”
~John Lennon ❤

 
😀

Xoxo Kim

P.s. Don’t forget to remember your life DOES matter no matter what you have done, who you are, what your opinions are, what disability or religion or mental or physical health condition you have, whether you have a family and friends or none, whatever your age or job is, no matter how much money you have, where you live, if you’re homeless and live outside under a bridge or in a park or live in a mansion, even if you feel hopeless or worthless and depressed or anxious often….your life and everything you do has an effect on the world around you. this is true for all of us. And we can get better and better.
Life is hope.  ❤

Tact

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“Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.” ~ Sir Isaac Newton

I think one of the main reasons for hostile arguing and being at each other’s throats over politics, religious views, and any other topic is not even the disagreement itself but our attitude about it and tone of voice/writing. I’m definitely not innocent of having a defensive or hostile or mocking tone while writing or speaking about certain issues, especially politics, before even getting into a debate or conversation. There have been occasions I had a strong view and wasn’t very kind about it. This provokes others to respond unkindly then further perpetuates the animosity and unkindness. The older and wiser I got, I learned to be much better in general with stating my views on any topic. Now I’m very good at remaining calm, kind, and civilized even when others are not.
It is much easier to accept opposing views when people are tactful and kind when stating them. We don’t have to all agree on everything. We can be great friends with people of different opinions and love them just as much as those with more similar views to our own. 
This doesn’t mean not having or stating opinions. It doesn’t mean avoiding controversial topics just not to offend each other. I don’t avoid controversial topics when they come up. I gladly share my views and listen to others. It just means being kind about it, being respectful of other people even when they have opinions that we do not find favorable.  

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“So let’s leave it alone, ’cause we can’t see eye to eye
There ain’t no good guy, there ain’t no bad guy
There’s only you and me and we just disagree” ~ Dave Mason 

Some people feel we have to become aggressive over things especially politics it seems. Then there are those who feel we have to never ever discuss politics or religion or any controversial views. Then there are those “social chameleons” who having changing views depending upon who they are with. I disagree with all three. It’s great to get to know each other, open up to different views, see different points, be honest about our own views, and be kind. We can be firm and assertive and stand our ground while still being very loving. 

“I ain’t lookin’ for you to feel like me
See like me or be like me
All I really want to do
Is, baby, be friends with you.” ~ Bob Dylan ❤

The next occasion we find ourselves in the face of a controversial debate or conversation, let’s give tact a try! 😀 Lovingkindness is more important than being right! 

😀

Xoxo Kim ❤

On Empathy

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“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” ~ Henry David Thoreau ❤

I have thin, super thin, psychological boundaries but I have learned to handle it well and I see it as a true gift and pure strength. Thin psychological boundaries means I often have difficulty emotionally separating myself and others. When someone suffers either physically or emotionally or experiences pleasure or joy, I feel almost as if it’s happening to me. It literally hurts me, even physically when someone else hurts. And elates me or fills me with sheer joy when someone else is thrilled or elated.  Even if the person isn’t someone I like much or someone I don’t know or even on TV or a fictional character in a book. 

One day a psychic program on TV was on in my house.  I don’t believe in psychic abilities or that psychics are real but it can still be interesting. 
I was sitting on the sofa while it was on and saw parts of it. 
The psychic lady said a lady’s neck was snapped by a murderer in some room in a house somewhere that the psychic lady was standing in and the psychic lady got all worked up saying she has to get out of there because she was so disturbed over what she “saw” and she said she “saw” marks on this lady’s neck and she was holding her own neck and my neck started throbbing and felt all bruised and my head and face started throbbing on the one side, the side where I usually have the cluster-like headaches, and I was holding it the rest of the day off and on! And I felt the dead lady’s neck injury and the psychic’s emotional distress all day. I know it was “empathy pain,” not really something wrong with my neck. Not an actual headache. I was still happy that day, it doesn’t usually overly interfere with my own life.  And I don’t believe what the psychic lady was saying but I believe she may have believed it. Or believed it to some extent. Or is great at acting.

 I felt so connected to that psychic lady, deeply connected. Both of us did not have a neck injury at all but both of us experienced both physical sensation and emotional distress over someone else’s painful situation. I often get “empathy headaches” when someone has a headache. I usually keep it to myself so as not to or appear to be taking the attention or sympathy off of the true sufferer. 
 
There have been occasions I was so overwhelmed over someone else’s pain or sickness I succumbed to my bed for an hour or more. I can handle emotional pain better than serious physical pain so it’s often the physical pain that overwhelms me more when someone else experiences it. Both kinds of pain can be just as bad and painful, it’s just that severe physical pain is more difficult to me. 

It’s ridiculous and a bit uncalled for to have empathy to this extreme. I can still be empathetic without going to this extreme but it’s not my choice. I don’t have it like some people are said to have to the point they’re almost “psychic” like they feel an overwhelming sense of dread then something terrible happens. Or their chest hurts then someone in the room has a heart attack. It’s just when someone is already suffering that I see of or read/hear about, I feel it too. 

Also, unlike with some people similar to me in this way, such as my sister, I don’t feel overwhelmed in crowded places or have to retreat to a place of being physically alone to “recharge” or recover. I can handle crowded places and various people all around me. In fact, I usually prefer it to being alone. I am an extrovert even though I’m very shy around people I don’t know or don’t know well. And I can be around many people and not have to come home and rest afterwards.  I feel energized and uplifted in a room full of people, even if I don’t interact with them in anyway.  Just being physically near people lifts me.

I used to see my extreme empathy as a blessing as well as a curse but now I just view it as a gift. While it can be exhausting, annoying, ridiculous, painful, feeling as One with others can’t be a “curse.”

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I can usually sense people’s true emotions even when they are lying or pretending. I usually catch micro-expressions (the split second facial expression people reveal right before they show a different one – it’s the true feeling before they pretend to feel something else or try to cover it up. If they are angry, for example, anger will briefly flash across the face before they put on a fake smile) easily and can often sense people’s anxiety, elation, or anticipation. Sometimes when one person in a crowded room is extremely anxious I pick up on it even if I don’t know which one it is. I can often sense the overall mood in a room full of people. Whether most people are happy, thrilled, anxious, in a hurry, gloomy….not just see it on their faces but actually feel/sense the energy. 

I also understand situations really well even if I’m not involved or never have been. I can just clearly imagine things happening and why. I have a deep understanding.

I think authors of fiction books need a very developed empathetic ability. I’m not talking about being caring and compassionate but a deep, thorough understanding of how situations work even if they never been in a similar one. An incredibly deep imagination. They have to get in the heads of various kinds of people, even people who are so very unlike themselves, to bring their characters to life if they want them to be of substance, realistic, well developed, and believable. They have to imagine, deeply, how certain situations play out and conjure up the emotions of those who would be in those situations even if they themselves were never in those situations. They have to put themselves in that place. It’s absolutely amazing the skills fiction writers have! I love it! 

It seems that we often overlook their incredible empathy. We often acknowledge their incredible writing skills and even their amazing intelligence, maybe even the fantastic research they had to do for the book’s theme, but look at that empathy! They can write an entire book as if they are that character or in the character’s head! Mind blowing! I don’t see/hear people praising this enough! It’s the same for actors who have to play characters and not just act, but feel, literally (mentally)  become a whole other person! Incredible! 

Empathy. 

 It runs deeper than just caring and compassion. Someone can still be caring and compassionate but not really *feel* or understand someone else’s situation.

And someone can experience a kind of empathy but not feel concern or compassion. For example: I feel the pain of others even just watching movies that aren’t real. There are scenes in movies where a “bad” character is getting hurt like getting hit over the head or something by someone trying to protect themselves or others and I felt like my own body was being hit even when I wasn’t feeling much compassion for the character, even when I was happy when a character was getting revenge.
I have experienced empathy without compassion and compassion without empathy. They often go together but not always.

There are occasions I was empathetic and understanding enough to know something I wanted to say or write to someone would emotionally hurt or infuriate  that person and I said or wrote it to intentionally inflict pain or anger upon the person out of my own anger. I was empathetic in some way but not very compassionate in those moments. My empathy led me to know to some degree how the person would feel and I wanted the person to feel anger or sadness or pain. This isn’t usually a good thing and I think empathy is better used to help heal, not hurt. We also need compassion. 

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Most people have a basic ability to experience empathy; it’s a natural human trait we have that develops as we are growing up. It’s related to compassion. Certain experiences can deepen some people’s empathy. Some are naturally more in touch with theirs than others. And we can learn to deepen our basic empathy into something more. Paying more attention to people and all sentient beings, tuning into our own emotions, drawing on our own various experiences, meditation, trying to better understand, imagining what it must be like to experience something, focusing on the fact that when we suffer or hurt it’s a similar feeling to what others feel when they suffer and hurt…

Empathy isn’t just feeling someone else’s pain but also experiencing another’s joy, happiness, and pleasure.

I have known people who won the lottery, like 100 or 1000 dollars, and I felt like I just won. When I hear of someone getting a new job, job promotion, getting married or engaged, having or adopting a child, getting ready for vacation, I feel it too. The thrill, the anxiety, the anticipation, the sheer joy, the love. I can’t be feeling it exactly how they are as I have my own body and mind/mental/emotional experiences. But I can strongly and deeply sense it.

There’s a definite and deep connection. 

It’s hard for me to get jealous (although I have experienced jealousy and probably will again) of people when great things happen to them when I can bask in the joy and beauty of their experiences almost as if it’s my own. When one person wins, we all win.

I think about things like this often and was recently thinking about it again when I saw the news at work. 

It was startling to see on the news that in some countries people are dying of infectious diseases in the streets.  When they are sick or injured they are left for dead. 

One man of an African country, the man who inspired me to write this post here, was shown on the news laying outside dying of an infectious disease. He was writhing in pain and sickness and laying in a puddle of his own blood, a result of the disease’s progression. 

There were people standing around watching, sure to keep their distance so as not to contract the disease themselves. And then there was the person filming the horror. 

Some moments my empathy or feeling of connectedness is deeper and some moments I don’t feel as connected to what is before me.

The moment I saw the sick, dying man in excruciating pain and sickness, I felt more connected. I felt it with my whole body. A longing to take all the sick, hurting, dying people in my arms so they can feel my touch before they go or before they heal. So they can know someone cares, even if I contract the disease myself. What I felt was both empathy and compassion, a perfect combination. Empathy can inspire greater compassion. 

Imagine laying sick and in pain while people surround you at a safe distance and watch, you’re still so alone. No one will touch you. No one is coming for you, until after you die, to remove your infected, contagious body. Imagine them all staring at you, fear in their eyes, utter helplessness. For some of them, all they can probably think is that they’re glad it isn’t them. Truly, deeply imagine. 

But I felt an instant connection to a stranger across the world, briefly flashing across a TV screen. Someone of a different language, a different country, a different nationality, different culture, skin color, ethnicity.

I have never been deathly ill or left for dead. I never been to his country but still I know that underneath we’re the same.

Strip away all the outer layers of culture and language and color of skin, distance, financial status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and other experiences and underneath at a most basic, primitive level, we are One.

Our basic humanness exists the same underneath no matter the color of our skin, our level of education, career labels, class status, our location in the world, financial situations, our various experiences…..these things are important in some contexts, they contribute to different experiences and struggles for different people and it’s not always good or wise to overlook them, it’s important to acknowledge their circumstances(skin color, country, ethnicity, status in other contexts…) so we can get a better idea of their struggles and pain that may be different than our own, but in some cases they are completely irrelevant. Like in the case of raw pleasure and pain, sickness and health, living and dying. 

I’m not advocating for general “color blindness” or anything of that sort, like saying we should all literally ignore our differences such as skin color or class status. That isn’t good either because then we overlook the unique experiences and struggles that someone in a different situation than us may have. 

If we mentally block out or ignore the color of someone’s skin, ethnicity, or other factors or characteristics that are different than ours, in the name of compassion or “all getting along” then we automatically mentally block out or ignore the struggles that come along with those factors or characteristics.
People who say things like “I only have one race, the human race” or “forget skin color, we’re all human or all bleed red and that’s all that matters…” or something like that, probably have very good, loving, intentions but promoting that and living that way is NOT helpful. 
Ignorance in this way, is NOT helpful or wise or a good thing. 
This can contribute to lack of empathy and understanding of people’s situations pertaining to their own circumstances different than ours. 
It’s ok, even necessary to acknowledge diversity but accept it. But in some cases differences are irrelevant. 

Any one of us can be in the position that sick and dying man was in, our country and our money and our education or language or ethnicity won’t definitely protect us against diseases or death. For some people, truly understanding and realizing this in their heads, can deepen their empathy and compassion for others. And it’s just as bad when it’s someone else as if it were myself or someone I know. Just because I don’t know him doesn’t mean he’s a less important person than someone I do know. Or less important than me. It doesn’t mean it’s good to just go my own way ignoring his suffering. 

Some people are more at risk than others because of their location or discrimination they encounter and some have access to better health care but none of us are immune to suffering or pain and dying of disease or injury. And none of us are immune to being targets of cruelty or the indifference of others against our suffering or pain or sickness. 

Another thing I saw recently that disturbed and actually offended me(and I’m not easily offended at all) is people getting all happy over some podcast about *real* murder victims. They were talking about how thrilling it is to watch or listen, how they can’t wait for the next ones, how it’s so exciting, how fascinating! Not once did I see any one of these people expressing sympathy/empathy or compassion or sorrow for the victims and their friends/family. These are REAL murder victims, flesh and blood, like us, like people we know, some of them children, some adults, who were brutally murdered in cold blood, some tortured, raped/sexually assaulted, destroyed and discarded like they were nothing, not characters in a book or movie or story, real people. I understand taking interest in these stories but no one here displayed sympathy in even the most subtle way, not even an underlying hint of concern for those involved in the devastation, expressed in their tone. It was all just pure pleasure for their own benefit of sitting around listening to it and having fun while drinking coffee all warm and cozy at home. It made me cringe.  

I don’t believe for a second that these happy people who “can’t wait” for the next podcasts about homicide victims, these people who are “so thrilled” over victims murdered in cold blood, tortured and thrown away like trash on the side of the road, are horrible people or sadists, or that they aren’t generally loving and compassionate and empathetic. They may not be, generally, any less caring or empathetic than I am. I don’t believe they were taking pleasure in the pain itself that the victims endured.  It’s the mystery and thrill they get to experience, secure and embraced in the comfort of their own safe homes in their pj’s with their cups of coffee.

 But they were too “detached” in my opinion, in this, here, case. It’s complete thoughtlessness. They were too wrapped up in their own lives and pleasure they put up too much of a barrier. So much so, they are thrilled over real murder victims. It hurt me to witness and I know if it were their own friends and family members or themselves abducted, murdered, targets of rape and other sexual violence, it wouldn’t be so thrilling. They wouldn’t be so eager to see what’s next. I can just imagine a devastated person close to one of those poor victims reading that people are sitting around getting off of the violent, senseless deaths of the people they knew and love. It’s dangerous to let ourselves become numb to the real tragedy, suffering, and pain of others. Even when those are people we only see through a glass screen on a tv or voices we hear through a phone, radio, or words we read through a computer monitor. Even just distant echoes of pain that come to us through some invisible radio waves in the air. Those are real people. That is real suffering. 

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I think it’s important to always tune in to our empathy and compassion whether or not we have ever experienced something similar to what someone else has. And whether or not we know those people well or at all. We do know they are someone, someone just like us. 
Like us, they have/had a name, a story, a dream or goal, needs, and desires, love, joy, pain, sorrow, and happiness. 

Let us be happy for those who are well and happy and successful and full of joy and have compassion, concern, understanding, and empathy for those sick, injured, and in pain, dying, grieving, struggling in any way. But we don’t have to not allow ourselves to be happy because other people are struggling. It’s ok to be happy for our own blessings. Gratitude guilt is not necessary. It won’t help anyone or anything. Dragging ourselves down or not allowing ourselves joy, thankfulness, or happiness, just because others are not well will not contribute to overall goodness to the world, all it does is put more unhappiness or suffering into the world. 

And also, one day we may not be as fortunate in the ways we are now so there’s no need to feel guilty anyway just because we are well and others aren’t. As I said, none or us are immune to tragedy and pain. Next week my house can burn down, you may experience the break up of a close relationship, someone we know can die, we can be diagnosed with a terminal illness….But no matter what, there’s always something to be thankful for and happy about, even in pain, chaos, destruction, grief, depression, anxiety, homelessness… 

I think we do need some emotional boundaries but not too thick. A healthy kind of detachment is good to prevent burnout, exhaustion, being overwhelmed…. but not when it’s blocking our empathy and attempts at true understanding to some level. Not when we are so detached we forget the real suffering and pain of others. Not when we’re so detached, we feel pleasure associated with someone else’s horror or painful circumstances. 

It’s great to experience gratitude for our own happy circumstances and everything but not good, in my opinion, to get so wrapped up in it we forget about those who aren’t so fortunate now, in the ways we currently are, or tune out the depth or degree of their pain.

Empathy won’t always cure diseases or take away someone’s pain and it likely won’t help us in one country be able to immediately help someone dying in another country. But it can motivate us to reach out in some way, maybe to people physically near us who appear to be struggling or people we know online, or reach out to write to people with more power than us, like politicians or people in charge of something related to the issue at hand, or ones who have good things happening to them and we can share in their joy, letting them know how happy we are for them, how proud or thrilled for their accomplishments or fortunate situations, maybe to write a comforting message to someone in need, maybe just to share a link with info about a health condition or situation that needs awareness, to bring more awareness to it and help educate more people. And maybe someone with more resources can see what we share or post and help in ways that we cannot yet help. 

Instead of merely thinking “I’m glad it’s not me” or “that could have been me…” and just going about our own lives forgetting the pain of someone else, we can still feel gratitude for our own fortunate situations but extend our empathy and compassion and realize it’s just as bad when it happens to someone else. It’s realistic to expect people to be thankful some tragedy or unpleasant circumstance is not happening to them but everyone is someone just as important as ourselves and our own friends and family and they feel suffering and happiness the same way too.  We can shift our focus a bit – instead of just being thankful we, ourselves are ok, we can focus more on compassion for those who are struggling in any way.

~Hug the hurt
Comfort the sick

Kiss the broken
Befriend the lost
Love the lonely~ 

And when something amazing happens to someone, even if we wish it would happen to us, instead of resentment, we can bask in that person’s happiness. 

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Deeper empathy along with compassion can help decrease all kinds of things, bullying, cyber bullying, unjust discrimination, sexual violence, other forms of cruelty(against all sentient beings), apathy, even wars and stuff if enough people around the world including those in various governments would better tune into and develop their own empathy and compassion.

Empathy & compassion are great for practical purposes but they also are just amazing traits to possess. They make us better for them. I’m no better than someone who is less compassionate or with less developed empathy but I believe it’s better to have those abilities than not. I’m not better than a sadist, a murderer, a psycho or sociopath with no empathy, but I believe those people would be better people than they are now, in another way if they develop their empathy and compassion.

Not everything is just for practical purposes or actions. Sometimes it’s intentions or just what we are, our essence that counts for something and is beautiful. 

Empathy & compassion, especially a combination of both, can inspire and motivate us to act, reach out to others in some way whether just a simple act of comforting words or volunteering time or money for a specific cause or even just inspire us to hold our tongues when we feel like lashing out or motivating us to proactively speak out against someone else’s callousness, which can have a positive effect. 

Let us remember when we see someone suffering whether it’s emotional or physical pain that is the root of it, human or not, that it’s a very similar feeling that we would feel if it were us. This can make it more real to us and motivate us to reach out in some way, even in the most simplest way, a warm smile, a gentle touch, a kind word…even if it’s not similar to what we ourselves would feel, it’s still important to be empathetic and compassionate but realizing how similar we are underneath can help deepen our empathy. 

And let us not be overly jealous of those who are experiencing joy, happiness, and success even if we are not. Let their accomplishments and happiness inspire and motivate us, not contribute to us being depressed or jealous. It’s best for all of us when we are happy for and encouraging to one another. Let’s celebrate each other and bask in each other’s happiness and success and fortunes. 

There’s enough happiness to go around. 😀

Here are some links about Metta (universal love/compassion) & Empathy.

This explains what Metta is, the benefits, and the importance of cultivating an attitude or lifestyle which has Metta at its core.

http://www.wildmind.org/metta/introduction/what-is-metta

Another explanation of Metta.

http://www.buddhanet.net/metta_in.htm

Here, the link below this, is fascinating research on the brain and empathy. Research reveals that when we are happy and things are going well, we are less likely to empathize with those not so happy or well. We are likely to perceive their pain or suffering as less than it really is. When we ourselves are not doing well, we better empathize with others. We are more likely to validate or realize the seriousness of someone else’s pain or low feelings. In fact, we’re more likely to evaluate someone else’s happiness as less than it really is when we ourselves are not happy. I suspected this before learning of this research. I saw evidence of this in certain situations including the happy people in warm, pj’s at home, drinking coffee while being thrilled over real murder mysteries and not expressing empathy, sympathy, or compassion for those involved.

There is good news. We don’t have to make ourselves suffer to empathize with others. Empathy & compassion are not fixed. 
Compassionate and empathetic people can become less compassionate and empathetic (so it’s important to regularly maintain our empathy and compassion) and those who are not very empathetic and compassionate can become more empathetic and compassionate. 
Some suggestions to maintain or develop empathy, compassion, and an attitude of kindness are meditation, routine mindfulness activities, volunteering to help others, meditating/imagining ourselves in pain and knowing others feel that too…

It’s also suggested that vigorous physical exercises can help deepen a person’s empathy. These exercises can feel physically uncomfortable and help us realize more what it’s like for others who are hurting in some way.
Let’s not go overboard and exercise so much it’s unhealthy but a reasonable dose of routine aggressive exercise can be quite healthy, both physically and emotionally. 

It’s important to do all we can to care for ourselves, be happy, be healthy, be grateful, but keep in touch with the suffering or pain of others.  

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/the-neuroscience-empathy

Desktop link to a video for a lovingkindness meditation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM&app=desktop

Mobile version of the same video:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sz7cpV7ERsM&app=m&persist_app=1
 
Even if you are already a very loving and kind person in general, you and the world can still benefit by practicing this meditation or ones like it. Meditation is calm and soothing and even if we are already or are naturally very compassionate and loving, we can still experience setbacks and it’s important to maintain whatever attitude or lifestyle we want to generally live. Like working out, we must keep up with it to keep it going strong. 
Even if we are naturally a certain way, we can strengthen it by making it more intentional and consciously applying it or deepening it.
It takes some practice and maintaining but is well worth it! 

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May you be well.
May you be happy. 
May you be peaceful.
May you be loved.
 
Xoxo Kim





Be Average. Be Unique. Be YOU!

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“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” ~ Dolly Parton

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“Live to express, not impress”

There’s this fear of being “average” or having an average life. A life that looks just like everyone else’s life. 
One that doesn’t stand out. One that isn’t radically “different” in some significant way. A need to find, list, and ponder ways in which we are very unlike everyone else.
And there’s this fear of being “too different,” of not “fitting in.” An urge to repress parts of the self that may come off as “weird” or “not cool.” An urge to mold parts of ourselves into things that look like everyone else’s things.
There are people who force themselves to do things, wear things, be things…they don’t really like just because it’s the style, trend, the in-thing.
Then there are those who are just the opposite.
They make it a point to resist what is currently popular just to be different and stand out, perhaps for shock value. So when they’re with a group of “clones,” they can say “I don’t have a smartphone” or “I don’t have a social media account ” or “I don’t watch tv” or…..and watch the looks on people’s faces, the “really?!,” “Are you kidding me?!!?” looks. 
They get to be different. Unique. Because they rebel against the masses.
This is great if it’s something they really don’t want because they naturally aren’t attracted to it or they feel it’s somehow detrimental to them but if we avoid things just to be different, we deny our true selves. Which is the same as conforming. Denying what we really want and who we truly are, merely to “fit in.”
Anti-conformity is denying who we really are or what we really want, merely to be or appear to be different.
But underneath you will always just be you.
And that’s ok.
No matter how much you resist conformity, there are ways you are still average, just like the next person.
No matter how much you conform, you are different somehow.
It’s a struggle to find the perfect balance of being “different enough” but “similar enough.”
Conforming but bringing our very own uniqueness to it.
A struggle that is unnecessary. Uncalled for.
We don’t have to be different in significant ways than the average person. We don’t have to be exactly the same, carbon copies of everyone else.
We’re all just average and we’re all very different.
I’m very much the same as everyone else but I also have my own uniqueness.
If I provide you with a description of myself, my personality, it will fit some other girl somewhere, very well. I love old music, stilettos, makeup, photography, chocolate, cake, dark poetry, happy songs, comedy movies, romantic comedies, love songs, vanilla frosting, personal development…
Someone else somewhere can say all this too.
 But we will still be very different than each other.
Just like if I provide you with a physical description of myself, my physical appearance.
It will fit someone else perfectly. Long brown hair, blue eyes, 5 feet, 5 inches, kind of thin….
But we will still look very different.
Because we are different. No matter how similar we will ever be to another, we have something that makes us different. Maybe that something can’t be identified or named. Maybe we can’t put our finger on it but it’s there.
We have our own perspectives, ways of looking at things, ideas, opinions, views, experiences, wisdom, knowledge, a combination of things that are unique and no one else will ever be. Even if we have an identical twin or triplets or anything.
But we are also average. Just like the next person.
We have desires, needs, goals, lives…hearts that pulsate, smiles that convey happiness and warmth, a longing to connect with others, blood that flows….just like everyone else.
The struggle of finding the perfect way to appear next to others and compare with others is not a necessary one. What is important is being our best selves. Living your passions. Basking in the beauty of life. 
Answering your calling. Whether it’s work, hobbies that are just for fun, travel, writing, watching TV, playing with your kids, adopting a child or pet, volunteering, helping people in some way…
Looking within to our authentic selves, honoring that Self, our Truth. Your Truth.
Forget conformity.
Forget anti-conformity.
Remember YOU. 

“So you think you know the answers, oh no
Well the whole world’s got you dancing
That’s right, I’m telling you
It’s time to start believing, oh yes
Believe in who you are, you are a shining star” ~Lionel Richie ❤

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. ~Oscar Wilde

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Xoxo Kim

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Beauty, Acceptance, Diversity, Awakening

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❤ I was blind but now I see. ❤

“Always be a little kinder than necessary. ” ~ J. M. Barrie
I am really loving how compassionate, accepting, tolerant, open-minded and loving I have become. I have always been someone who is open-minded and accepting of others, their views, and diversity. I have always been loving and not at all likely to reject a person as a friend because of a difference in perspective, attitude, or view, or because of mistakes or decisions that person made that I disagree with. Even when strongly disagreeing with one another. 

But there are occasions I have been or felt unkind, unfriendly, arrogant, bitter, or timid, or unhappy, meek, or just negative, uncomfortable,  or hostile over differences in opinion on certain topics or how the opinion was presented.  I was never cruel or outright horrible to people over disagreements and I wouldn’t reject a friend or potential friend but on too many occasions I liked that “us and them” or “us vs them” feeling. Now, I can’t even imagine why.   Now, I always want us to all be in this together, working together, no matter what differences we encounter, for a better world, a better life for us all. 

There have been occasions for almost as long as I can remember where I felt that I was lacking in personality because I have this ability to understand both sides of a debate or argument so thoroughly even if I strongly agree with one and not the other.  I can still see how someone else can feel that way. Even when I would argue or debate taking one side, I can still feel for the other. It’s like that with almost every political and philosophical topic I can think of and in personal arguments that I witness, hear of, read, or engage in.

Now I see this as a gift.  As a unique personality trait.  I have been told that I have the priceless gift, the uncanny ability to understand so deeply, and just “know” things about people, to deeply see the heart of the matter, to feel for all sides and angles, to empathize with my opponents and with people and other sentient beings, in general.

And now I’m even more this way. This natural gift is stronger.  And with conscious intention and work, I can develop it even more.

There will always be disagreements.

Some people will be wrong.

Maybe some things will never be resolved but we can choose kindness, love, compassion, and understanding as opposed to cruelty, rejection, unkindness…

Usually, when I would be bitter, it wasn’t even over a disagreement itself but the way people would present their opinion, their attitude, or way of speaking/writing. When someone would have an “in your face,” defensive, rebellious, or negative attitude, I was more ready to be hostile where when someone would be civil, gentle, accepting, I was more ready to be kind and friendly even when strongly disagreeing. 

But someone else’s unkindness or cruelty does not necessarily justify my unkindness or cruelty. No need to perpetuate that.  I prefer to perpetuate love and lavish love and kindness on others.   Sometimes the cruelest and most unkind people may need it the most.

 I have come to realize more and more that it’s ok to have strongly opposing views, it’s still possible to get along well with those who strongly oppose my views, love, compassion, acceptance is more important.  Opposing a view does not mean opposing a person. I can overlook disagreements or even see the beauty in them.

Sometimes I have felt guilty when I would have a certain opinion on a topic and then meet someone I really liked who would have an opposite view.  I felt like I was doing that person wrong.  Like I was offending…hurting..

But other occasions I was at the other end. Feeling arrogant, pompous, full of myself, telling myself I was holding the better view, the “right” view and I was the one offended, the “victim,” the reasonable one.

Now…

I have been seeing beauty in things much more than I used to and in things I never thought I would see beauty in. People who have the courage to speak up and advocate for themselves and their views whether or not I agree with their views, certain kinds of selfishness(the word “selfish” tends to have negative connotations but isn’t always a bad thing), things shattering so better things can fall into place, realizing I was wrong all along and admitting it and evolving into something better.  At one point I was so mortified when an opinion of mine would change or I would realize I was initially wrong, either incorrect or morally wrong. 

I did not want to admit that I held an inaccurate or “wrong” view.   But changing an opinion based on truly realizing that the old opinion in some way is wrong either morally or factually/logically, admitting it, and moving forward is a sign of great strength, growth, and is worthy of admiration.   According to Roman Stoic Philosopher, Gaius Musonius Rufus, we should study Philosophy and it should affect us personally and profoundly and when a philosopher lectures, his words should make those in his audience shudder. They should experience feelings of contrition or rue.  Instead of applauding the philosopher, the audience should be reduced to silence. (source, Epictetus, “Discourses,” III.xxiii.29.)

In awe and embarrassment for not knowing and now coming to know. It’s not a bad thing.

I find myself more and more “liking” comments on places like Facebook even when I disagree with them because I can still see a kind of beauty in them or because I am grateful for being introduced to a new perspective or point of view or because I find it fascinating or it gets me thinking. I don’t have to agree to like or accept it.  Or to like and accept the person who holds that view.

Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D., in her book “Finding Joy,” writes 

“We have a great deal of division in this world that dictates who you are allowed to love at a personal, intimate level. Black-white, Protestant-Catholic, Muslim-Hindu, Jewish -Palestinian are a few of the many divisions people are taught not to cross.
Fortunately, people ‘s deeper level of spirituality allows them to fall in love and in doing so break down these barriers.”
And this :
“Because love and joy are so totally intertwined, bringing joy to the planet means supporting all love between all people on the planet. Part of the consciousness of joy is realizing we are all more alike than different. The desire to belong,be respected, live free of fear, work with dignity and purpose, and find joy are common to all people.   Of course we all have different customs, histories, and traditions, but when we reach deep enough, we will find the commonalities and in doing so find joy.
Every time we cross a barrier, we build a bridge. And as we build bridges on the outside, we heal the division within us. As a result, we all have more territory to walk on, and more people to love, and more peace on the planet. “
 (p. 130-1)

Isn’t this beautiful?! 

And it’s true. It’s not to say we should ignore differences, just accept or cherish them.   Love anyway.   We can acknowledge diversity but accept it, love it, promote it..

liberal-conservative, pro-life-pro-choice, Democrat -Republican, rich -poor, atheist-theist….love anyway. We can debate, argue, disagree and love still.   Love deeper. 

Still respect.
Show some level of understanding.

It’s true, some people are wrong, either morally, factually, logically…but we can still love.  Platonic or romantic love.  Still accept.  Still cherish. Still embrace.

It won’t always be easy. But it’s possible.
I won’t project my standards or morals onto others assuming that because they act differently than I would have in a certain situation, that they must be less loving, caring, compassionate…than I am.

They can be just as loving and caring as I am. We all have convictions and reasons for making certain choices, coming to certain conclusions, having certain views.  No person is better than another. I believe people in general are basically good, with good intentions, some more good than others.

Also, we don’t have to like everyone or want to be around everyone or be friends with everyone we meet.   That’s unrealistic and not necessary.  But when we do meet someone we really like or love, a potential friend or lover, or we must be around certain people, we don’t have to not like them or abandon or reject them based on distasteful differences.   If I love/like you, and then find out you strongly oppose my views or you did something horrible, made mistakes or that you feel I have made horrible mistakes…you will still hold my heart.

There are things about me people don’t or won’t like also.   And who am I to negatively/hostilely judge?   Some people have lousy attitudes, discriminatory views and are just detrimental to be around and it’s ok to avoid them but we don’t have to avoid or lash out at every person who we disagree with.

I have been seeing opinions I once would have been absolutely appalled by, maybe even ready to lash out, and sink to insults or a vitriolic attitude or tone and even now start to feel a sense of distress but it often quickly melts to compassion, mellows out to understanding that that person who holds that view is not me and has a reason, has experiences, ways of thinking for holding those views just as I do for having other views.  That’s a person first.  A person who is no less than I am.

I can understand to a certain extent even if I cannot possibly know how someone else feels. I never claim to exactly know, just deeply understand as much as I possibly can for someone who is not that person and has not experienced what that person has.

Some opinions seem to really suck and are offensive but I can break through.  I am so enlightened now in ways I haven’t been previously, in some ways that can’t even be explained, only felt.

And there’s room for growth and always will be. No matter how enlightened and “whole” I am or become, there will always, always be room and opportunities for further evolution of the self as long as I’m living. And I now see the beauty in that fact. There was a day when I wanted to be whole and fully enlightened and know all there is to know, experience all there is to experience, and be perfect and felt incomplete and seriously unhappy about it but now I see beauty in incompleteness, in the unknown, in all that is to come.

Where some people see mistakes or flaws, where I once saw mistakes, flaws, wrongs…I see creativity, deftness, beauty, strength, opportunities for growth, for progress.

Yes, I am humbled.  And I bask in this humility.

Much love to you.

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” ~

Benjamin Franklin

Xoxo Kim