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What’s the Difference Between Sympathy and Empathy (ep. 237)

On this week’s Live Inspired Podcast Monday Moment segment, John O’Leary shares the power of empathy and what it can mean for our world.

“Sympathy is easy because it comes from a position of power. Empathy is getting down on your knees and looking someone else in the eye, and realizing that you could be them, and that all that separates you is luck.” – Dennis Lahane

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For almost three decades, my dad has been living with the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. Over this time, he’s lost the ability to walk, drive, and earn. It’s difficult for my dad to speak and lately, becoming more difficult to swallow.
I obviously suspected it was hard, but staying with my dad and caring for him in my mother’s absence gave me a totally different understanding.
In this perplexing season, I encourage you to truly embrace what the world – pain, struggle, dreams, aspirations, wisdom – might look like for those around you.

Sympathy, indifference, despair and anger are common emotions these days. The way to understand, then heal and finally unite requires that we first empathize.

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.