A simple definition of an empathic is someone who can ‘understand and share in the feelings of another’. With the aid of the inner eye, we can even witness what a person is going through from a description or narrative of far away events. People with sympathetic abilities contribute to the advancement of society and are a vessel for social consciousness. Compassionate individuals do not immediately judge others, but first consider what it means to walk in their shoes.
Contrary characteristics to empathy are callousness and narcissism. Senior campaign advisor Lara Trump is the epitome of a non-empathic who supports her father-in-law. On the October 14th Fox News at Night broadcast with host Shannon Bream, Lara defended Trump’s actions in Syria by stating most Americans don’t know who the Kurds are. Not a sound or rational defense for certain genocide and ethic cleansing. In a phone call with Erdogan of Turkey, Trump betrayed the Kurds who were our allies in the fight against ISIS. Like a mob boss in a second-rate B movie, Trump demands loyalty but gives none as suits his needs. Today, the House of Representatives condemned his withdrawal of troops from Northern Syria.
We are all Hervin Khalaf. A Kurdish politician and secretary general of the Future Syria Party, she was a victim of Trump’s war crimes. Turkish-backed rebels dragged her and her driver from their vehicle. Twitter was awash in images of Ms. Khalaf being raped on rocks, her face grey from the dust and pain. The boots and rifles of her assailants and their accomplices are clearly visible in the video. Reports are the driver was executed and the Turkish proxies stoned her to death. Their murder is the clear result of Trump giving Erdogan the go-ahead to invade the Kurds.
Unless you’re like Lara Trump who’s immune from the feelings of strangers, closing off techniques can be employed by an empathic. Prayers, affirmations, and visualizations are methods one can utilize to not give hospitality to other people’s negativity. Shielding oneself off enables us to understand what someone is going through, and to walk in his or her shoes. I imagine myself wrapped up in the petals of a flower, or I’ll say an ancient Kabblalistic prayer, the Ana Be’Koach to surround myself with light and protection. In my memoir, My Random Death, I go into detail about these practices.
We can employ some basic tools to protect ourselves while we still ‘love thy neighbor, and welcome the stranger, as thyself’.