How many experiences do we need? We are asked, if we are compassionate people, to put ourselves in the shoes of others. I can do that.

But then it becomes a slippery slope. I imagine myself in the head of my father, who lost my mother a year and a half ago, and is foundering in his aloneness.  I put myself in the shoes of the kids in my classroom, the dark days and petty dramas. I find myself wandering in the minds of the people I see on the news ; mourning the deaths of loved ones by a drive-by or the stupidity of a gunman.

After a while, we are lost in the lives of others, drowning in the empathic feelings that we can’t shed, that strangle us slowly as the horrors of shared consciousness overtake what fragile sanity we have.

I have no clue as to what the compromise should be.


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