Empathy: A Lesson For All


Dedicated to my husband, Sheldon Good.

Eighteen weeks ago I broke my ankle. My surgeon finally released me from his care. The broken bones are healed. I am trying to learn to walk again. It is not the “walk in the park” that I had imagined. My entire foot is horribly painful. I can barely walk.

I have to tell you that until today I have weathered my situation like a trooper with the help of my loving husband Shelly, Rosa my housekeeper, my dog Orchid, my family and friends, and last but not least my “cherry up-beat” personality. I believe in making lemonade out of lemons and to see the glass half full. But now, I am distraught and frightened because I cannot put my weight on my foot without horrific pain. I wonder what my future holds? Will I limp? Will I have chronic pain? Will I be able to wear my beautiful shoes? After all, I thought I would be dancing by now! The doctors say I will be fine, in time. I wonder.

To make it worse, today is my birthday. I love “my day.” Even though I received beautiful and loving cards and gifts from my devoted husband, birthday licks from Orchid, phone calls, texts and emails from family and friends and last but not least, a thoughtful gift from Rosa. With all the outpouring of love and friendship I am unable to “feel” happiness because I am fearful.

We all know how the mind races from positive to negative to the, “what ifs.”

Sitting at my writing desk with my foot propped up on my walker, a bag of frozen peas resting on my foot and Orchid by my side, I ask myself: “Is there a lesson I can take away from my experience and share with you, my daughters, grandchildren, and girlfriends?” Remembering my husband’s words last night leads me into an important answer. “I bet you can really relate and feel for another person’s suffering and limitations a lot better now,” he said as he saw me painfully trying to put one foot in front of the other with the aid of my walker. His sentence jolted me. I thought that I already did relate and feel for others. But, I realize…how could I offer the necessary words of help to others when I hadn’t experienced their personal pain and fear? That is a dilemma for all.

That is what I am thinking about as I write my podt today. And here is my answer after careful thought:

Let’s use our wisdom to teach our young the value of empathy towards others and the words … I am here to listen to “you.”

Thank you, Shelly. I love you.