Sugar and Spice, Snips and Snails

What exactly are we made of?

“It’s understandable,” he said. “The last time I pulled and parked the boat, I had a fish hook through my finger.”


Covered in dirt from pulling weeds, I came through the back door and found the fisherman sitting in the family room.

“Ummmm, why are you home?” I asked. He’d left the house only an hour before, boat trailing behind the truck.

“The motor wouldn’t start.”

“Why’s that? Major problem or something little?” I asked.

“No big deal mom. The battery was dead because I forgot to flip a switch the last time I pulled the boat. I plugged it in. It’ll be fine in a few hours.”

Despite his plans being foiled, he traced the problem, found himself at fault, understood what happened, and cheerfully went for a walk with Henrietta and me.

Sometimes my heart leaps a little when I see what he is made of.


I tell this story because a connection and I have been engaged in a conversation about sympathy and empathy—initiated by this Lee Thayer article.

Through call and response we arrived at this question…

Can we empathize inside/within or for our own selves?

The story above tells me we can empathize with ourselves, through…you guessed it…awareness, acceptance, and action.


There are a couple of TED videos that have helped me better understand the importance of empathy and seeking first to understand before taking action.

If you are interested, here are the links:

Want to help someone? Shut up and listen!

A radical experiment in empathy

How can we know what another is made of, or where they’re hoping to go, if we don’t ask?
How often do we ask ourselves?

I’m learning to live the questions….