When empathy has been shown to me, I’ve felt as if someone has wrapped a warm blanket around my shivering cold shoulders. But when I’ve had to share that same warmth with others, especially those who’ve hurt me, it hasn’t been so easy to achieve.
I see many in my counseling office who struggle in the same way to show empathy toward a controlling spouse, a rebellious teenage son or daughter, or a rude and demanding boss. Sadly, this gap must be bridged with empathy or there will be no understanding, no connection, no healing.
I will be sharing in a future post, what I’ve learned and done to develop empathy and compassion in my life. But for now, I’d love to hear from you. Tell me what you’ve done that has worked to soften and open your heart.
Is it just me, or are there so many male celebrities in 2009 and 2010 who’ve sunk to despicable levels? Maybe there have been years where we just didn’t know about the misdeeds certain celebrities were committing, or maybe there are just more people spinning out of control.
Now there’s this whole Melodrama with Mel. How could it be? He’s the “Patriot.” He’s “Braveheart.” He’s the grieving “Father” in the movie “Signs.” He’s even the only Hollywood star who dared to make a realistic movie about Christ. Mel Gibson has tried to appear to be the good guy throughout all his movie-making years, but now we see him as the ultimate bad guy.
To tell you the truth, I’m tired of hearing the recordings with Mel’s raspy, ranting voice. I don’t know if he really said those terrible things to his girlfriend and the mother of his child, although it seems quite likely. But if those recordings are authentic, then I would hope that the judicial system would bring justice and protection to Oksana and their daughter.
So if he really is a villain, then . . .
- Do we write him off and never go to another one of his movies or rent his DVD’s?
- Do we shake our heads in disdain whenever we see his wrinkled mug on television?
- Do we ignore his rants, chalking it up as just another celebrity gone awry?
- Do we learn a lesson from his temper run amuck?
- Do we pray for him and his family?
I must admit, as of yet, I haven’t prayed for the guy or his family. And even though I don’t have all the facts, I have a whole lot less respect for him than I did just six years ago when the “Passion of the Christ” was first released.
I’m not saying we should crucify him (pardon the pun). I’m not saying we should let him off the hook. I’m also not saying that we need to make a list of fallen celebrities to pray for—after all, we do only have 24 hours in a day! I’m just wondering what you, the reader, think you should do?
Here’s what I’m doing:
- Waiting to fully form my opinion about the man until more is known.
- Asking myself why I should or should not pray for him, and if God convicts me to pray for him, determining how to pray for him and his family.
- Using his public humiliation as a reminder that I need to surrender my anger to God on a daily, even moment by moment, basis.
Tell me what you think!