As we begin this new year, there are millions like Hagar and Ishmael wandering their personal wildernesses in search of survival and needing aid. We learn from the Torah not to expect divine intervention to rescue them. We need to act ourselves, as did Hagar.
Answering difficult questions about the world and comforting people in a time of need requires the best wisdom from both religion and science.
White evangelicals tend to support pushing back certain provisions of the ACA, or eliminating it altogether, for at least three reasons particular to their religious group.
How does empathy differ from compassion? What are the best strategies we should employ to influence one another to be more caring?
The problem with empathy is that we tend to focus on what’s immediately in front of us, which means that we lose the opportunities to make a big difference.
We are mindful of that web that connects all of us, and we will, God-willing, emerge to tread more softly, honoring one another in our shared human vulnerability.
Once I accept reality, I can begin to work on the world as it is, rather than the world that exists in my head.
If I shut the door entirely and write off and not engage with 40% of the American population, then I’m actually part of the problem.
If transcendence can help us become better people, then not only science, but religion, can add something to the conversation, as well.
When we are in a position of power, we need to be that much more attuned to our responsibility to be empathetic and compassionate.