Change requires empathy | Pineandlakes.com - Pineandlakes Echo Journal

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Change requires empathy

Posted: May 7, 2013 - 5:50pm

Change requires empathy

Empathy is risky! Actually, Webster says empathy is “the projection of one’s own personality into the personality of another in order to understand that person better, an intellectual identification of oneself with another” (Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary).

Literally, the Greek word is a combination of the prefix “en,” meaning “in,” and the root “pathos,” meaning “feeling.” Thus, to have empathy is to be “in-feeling” (to understand, identify, experience) with another.

When we are challenged to see something in a “new light” or “appreciate” someone who is asking us to look again at our long-held assumptions about that person, we are in the process of change.

Change is risky business. Yet, it happens every day. Nothing would ever get done in Washington, D.C., among politicians were it not for change. Compromise is a compliment to a politician who took the risk of empathy rather than indifference or, worse, cold opposition.

I have empathized with same-sex couples who want to get married just like couples of the opposite sex. If I were homosexual and in love with the person of my dreams and could not marry that person, I would feel like my community considered me unacceptable.

Therefore, please empathize with our homosexual community and take another look at what it means to be married. Marriage is a public celebration of a “covenant of fidelity,” that is, a “promise of faithfulness” between engaged couples. It is not exclusive to heterosexuals.

Furthermore, I encourage our state Legislature to empathize with our homosexual community and move us forward as a state that honors the covenant of fidelity between ALL who want to marry the person they love.

Empathy is risky. It has been my experience that God always meets us on the other side of risk.

Terry J. Frovik,

Lake Shore

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