Empathy – January’18 Spiritual Theme

Empathy

Our Monthly Spiritual Themes guide our Chalice Circles. Chalice Circles are small, intentional groups of members and friends that gather for spiritual enrichment through personal sharing. For more information on Chalice Circles, please contact our Circle coordinator Linda Benson.
Fear

Our Chalice Circle thoughts and questions around the theme of Empathy are:

“As we tell stories about the lives of others, we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events. At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves.” – Martha C. Nussbaum.
When has learning about someone else, particularly someone who seemed very different than you, taught you something about yourself?

If it is not tempered by compassion and empathy, reason can lead men and women into a moral void.” – Karen Armstrong.
How have empathy and reason interacted in your own life? Are there times when you’ve led with more of one than the other? What happened?
Education leads to enlightenment. Enlightenment opens the way to empathy. Empathy foreshadows reform.” – Derrick A. Bell.
When has enlightenment led to a greater sense of empathy in your life?

When your own life is threatened, your sense of empathy is blunted by a terrible, selfish hunger for survival.” – Yann Martel.
Has there been a time something has threatened your sense of empathy? What was the threat? How did you respond?