Shame and Empathy


There is no such thing as healthy shame.

If you feel the need to shame someone look to your own motivations. When you decide to shame someone you have unilaterally decided to hurt them in such a deep and profound way they may never recover from it.

Are you the sort of person who wants to do that to another person. Do you lack even the remotest spark of humanity that shame is something you would seek to inflict on another?

If you aren’t that person then try empathy.  Put yourself in their shoes so you know what they are feeling and if you can see the light from that then show them.

The Naive Idealist

Path to Empathy

I take a walk in your shoes
And I can feel those pinched toes,
The bruised ankle, the calloused heel.
Come, Share my light so you may see ahead

I wear your ragged clothes.
I feel the frayed edges and holey elbows
Through which the cold and rain seep.
Come, Share my warmth so your spirit lifts.

I don your porcelain mask.
With it’s sharp edges and puckered nose.
Such a pretty but ill fitting thing.
Come, share my mirror so you may see yourself

I carry your ladened pack.
I feel the chaffing of your burden
My knees, they buckle under the load.
Come, share my pack, it is but half full.

How can I hate when I have worn those shoes
How can I abandon you to a chill I know well.
How can I judge when that mask is a twin to mine.
How can I leave you to your burden when your company lightens mine.

Take my hand and I shall follow.
I can’t walk your path
But I can keep you company.
At least for a while.

 Copyright Luke Davis 2014

Photo: justinday / flickr

Photo: Gabriel / flickr


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