I believe this wikipedia definition is a good one:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaHuman beings are strongly motivated to be connected to others. In humans and other higher mammals, an impulse to care for offspring is almost certainly genetically hard-wired, although modifiable by circumstance.
Empathic concern refers to other-oriented emotions elicited by and congruent with the perceived welfare of someone in need. These other-oriented emotions include feelings of tenderness, sympathy, compassion, soft-heartedness, and the like. Empathic concern is often and wrongly confused with empathy.
To empathize is to respond to another's perceived emotional state by experiencing feeling of a similar sort. Empathic concern or sympathy not only include empathizing, but also entails having a positive regard or a non-fleeting concern for the other person.
So, I find myself reading stories on the internet involving ill children. My heart hurts. I cry real tears. I feel loss like it's my own. I want to take that pain away and I want to help fundraise for the family that I know has done everything in their power, both financially and emotionally, to make the nightmare of their lives go away.
Most recently it was the loss of beautiful Layla Grace.
Layla went to dance with the angels yesterday morning. Her parents had to watch her battle with this awful disease and had to watch her waste away. And in her fathers words, it wasn't supposed to be like this. My heart hurts. I have cried. I have felt a small portion of their pain as I don't think anyone who hasn't lost a child can never fully understand that horrible unfathomable situation.
And sadly, it got me to thinking.
This beautiful little girl did so much in her short life. She rallied the troops and she had people praying for her all over the world. Little Stellan had people all over the world writing his name in the sand. He, is miraculously healed, praise the lord.
But what about all of those people that don't have the ability to write. They don't have the power of the internet, twitter, blogs, facebook, words to rally those same troops? Those parents are suffering the same very real, very agonizing pain. How does one beautiful child's story go public when another's doesn't?
I don't have any answers. And I suppose I am not expecting any. But my empathic self hurts. Hurts for each and every one of those babies, children and adults. I have a very dear friend who is right now in Germany, undergoing an extreme EXTREME amount of pain during her treatment. They are injecting something into 25 of her forty tumors.
I pray for her each and every day! At least once every minute she passes through my mind and my heart. She, too, has prayer warriors that lift her up. I wish with all of my heart people could help her financially but she is way too proud to ever accept the help and well, she's remarkable!
This is a rambling blog about cherishing moments. Cherishing seconds. Cherishing our chlidren, our friends, our spouses and our family. It's about praying for those that we don't know... those that we know in our heart of hearts need it. They are suffering right now and the prayer of a stranger might just be exactly what they need.