My intention had been to use both types of empathy to live as compassionately as possible for one day. But at the end of my compassion quest, it felt as if I were only beginning to scratch the surface of these empathetic powers. I wielded them with clumsy hands, sometimes missing the mark.
I realised I had only successfully completed the game tutorial.
Another day, I might have let the stranger get out of the train first because I reasoned, I had time to kill. Or look to understand a person’s opposing view only to better know how to work against it.
Empathy I found does make a difference, by deliberately stripping away those situational factors and prejudices. It challenged me to see, hear and feel the commonality in our needs and desires as people.
There are certainly people in the world we admire, who seem naturally superpower-ed in their kindness, generosity and care for others. For some of us though, we may feel more similar to the small character of a mouse than these masters of compassion.
In this world, you might see the challenges you face more akin to a game where failing only means learning to try again. I have learnt through this quest that infusing actions not just with reason and habit, but with the two simple powers of empathy, is a challenge worth accepting.
I offer to you now, the powers of “Blink” and “Brain-Shift”. Wield them wisely and if you are willing, join me in the League of Mice on our quest for compassion.
“This is not a quest won in only a day or even a week. But a lifelong practice, won each and every day, if you’re willing to play.”