Everyone is an Empathy Promoter!
Shortly after Roe v. Wade went into effect, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my mom and my grandma. I asked them what they thought about abortion. As I expected, my mom said she thought it was wrong. But my grandma surprised me when she said she was in favor of legal abortion. Then she told us why. We had all known that she had to quit school at age 12 to stay home to care for her dad and her younger sister when her mother died. Now she revealed that her mother had died on an abortionist’s table, desperate because they couldn’t afford another child.
When the #MeToo movement happened, a close friend put #MeToo on her Facebook page. Surprised, I asked her why. She talked about the painful and scary experience she had on her first job in a small office, when a creepy guy who worked there got too close whenever they were alone, or made lewd comments, or otherwise left her constantly on edge.
One day, a neighbor and I were sitting on my front steps talking. I don’t remember how it came up, but she revealed that her daughter had been raped. She talked about the trauma, and helped me to understand that this happens to a lot more women than we know.
What do these three women have in common? They, and thousands more like them, are empathy promoters. Everyday people, not celebrities or pundits, who bravely share their personal stories with others. We recognize them as our new Featured Empathy Promoters. (On the Home page.)
As we say in our discussion of these everyday heroes:
There will be similarities, and also individual differences, to the stories ordinary people tell, the experiences they share, which gives a depth and layer of complexity to something that is usually talked about or thought about only in generalities. There is truth in details. Adding many stories, many perspectives, gives us a bigger, clearer picture, a more empathetic view. It’s kind of like a photo mosaic. From a distance, it looks like one picture. But step in, look more closely, and you will see the thousands of tiny pictures that create the one big one.