A Valiant Effort

Despite her best effort, Monica lost in the finals of the 20th Annual Baraka Bouts.

It turns out her competitor, named Ocean Leto, boxes outside of Notre Dame. She is a tough, experienced fighter. Monica fought well in the first two rounds. But in the last round, she took a nasty uppercut and had a standing 8-count.

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I recently attended a parent seminar on empathy. Here is the Cliff Notes version: empathy is feeling with someone while sympathy is feeling for someone.

Here’s one way to think about it. Sympathy is what’s on display in a funeral home. While it has a place in our human experience, it’s the short game. Empathy is what happens after a loss, when someone comes into your home, fixes you a cup of tea, and listens to your ongoing struggle. It’s the long game and results in close connection with other people.

Just the other week, I experienced the lesson in a personal way.

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Happiness is cleaning out your freezer and finding the chocolate digestives that your daughter brought you from London that you stashed behind the mixed vegetables to hide from your children.