Saturday, September 21, 2013

NEW: "Argument for Empathy"

A contemplative virtual me
It happened on Friday the 13th at the recycling bins.  I was standing there, dropping my separated glass into the correct bins, and the thought came into my head:  "What do I look like, standing here with my bags of recycling?  What assumptions would people draw from that and how accurate are they?"

For a brief moment I bought into the possible "truth" of those assumptions, then I rebelled.  I rebelled so fervently that my mind would not let go of the thought and began to compose.  I must say that driving around on Friday the 13th (or any day for that matter) with something vehemently composing itself in free verse in your head is not particularly safe - fortunately no lives were lost and there was no collateral damage.  From that experience, Argument for Empathy was born:

Argument for Empathy
By Judith Cullen

© 2013

We choose.

We select from what we see.

We apply it, and call it “truth.”

We choose.

We see a disability and think “broken”

We hear unfamiliar speech and we think “foreign”

We see grey hair and think “old”

We hear thoughts not our own and think “ignorant”

We see fat and think “lazy”

We hear conflict and think “enemy”

So many other things we see, we hear,

We categorize, judge and file neatly away,

When we choose.

We choose.

And with our choice our blinders slam shut,

Our vision becomes limited.

What do we miss?

We choose to miss:

The person of worth who clings daily to their independence and dignity,

The pioneer of intelligence and skill, bravely building a new life in a new land,

The lifetime of experiences and knowledge, happily shared,

The points of view that might keep our own ideas honest, and compassionate,

The person struggling daily with pain and discomfort,

The transcendent grace to disagree, and still respect.

We choose to miss People:

As individual as snowflakes.

They fall all around us, some softly, some born on a pelting wind

Each unique, each bearing love, and the desire for happiness

In their intricate, life-born geometry.

We choose.

We select from what we see.

What would happen if we chose differently?

What desire for happiness,

What liberation from judgment,

What vibrant truth would we see differently?


We choose.

When …

We choose.

CLICK HERE for Audio of Argument for Empathy
© 2013 by Judith Cullen ~ Music "Clean Soul" by Kevin MacLeod at

NOTE: Audio Clips offered freely, but tips of appreciation are always accepted.  We are, after all, a struggling artist and author.  Many Thanks! 

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