The western myth of self-sufficiency has perpetuated much needless shame and guilt among the emotionally and financially challenged for far too long. The pandemic’s enforced isolation has brought the reality into common consciousness: human beings are all emotionally challenged and need others, need a sense of community and a sense of belonging. Being able to give and receive are necessary skills for interacting with the wider world.
We live in an interdependent world. Being responsible for yourself actually means getting healthy support and even professional help when you need it. You cannot depend on your children for social and psychological support; it is their place to receive your support. A support group of other adults can serve your needs for emotional support, a social outlet, and fun. Volunteering and helping others can also create deep satisfaction, and build the strength of your community.
Being aware of the balance between nurturing and being nurtured, independence and support creates for ourselves the middle ground where community takes place. Through this each person is nurtured towards increasing maturity and independence, creativity, individuality, and thriving.
By confronting the truth of your situation, assessing the true risks and opportunities, you can take steps to go beyond cultural mythologies and reap great rewards. Being proactive with seeking the truth wherever you find stereotypes and myths surfacing can transform negative situations to optimism in the future.
Years ago in Los Angeles I used to meet some really unusual characters. It was often me who got the surprise of my life as I trusted my intuition over my initial distaste reactions, and found these characters to be charming, kind, and respectful human beings, black and beautiful. I soon learned to see outer appearances completely differently: the spiked hair and tattoos were interesting but no longer scared me.
Forbes Magazine has quoted Intuition as being our highest intelligence. Business leaders develop their intuition for making judgments about people, culture and strategy.
Intuition is defined as the ability to acquire knowledge without rational reasoning, and is used by scientists, parents, and educators to create environments for learning and new knowledge.
In Empatharian, the gestural language is intuitive, in that you can look at it and understand the meaning without being told in English what each gesture represents. You can look at it and guess what the gestures are saying, but sometimes it’s not clear, and it’s an approximation of the meaning. And yet, those approximations are valuable communications to the conversation, things that you saw and felt when you were looking. And the person doing the Empatharian gesture can appreciate your input, and the discussion that results in clarifying and expanding the meaning sometimes.
That’s where empathy comes in: you and a partner are empathizing with each other, and your empathy grows as you work together to discover the communication. The spiritual message is something to be shared and to expand. Your movements together become an articulation of the true spiritual meaning and intention behind the gestures, and the gestures evolve.
In Empatharian, I imagine groups doing and discussing works of art, works of poetry, and articulating together the spiritual meaning of it, and then embodying that meaning together in a joyful set of gestures, and embodiment of the poem, art, and each person’s individual expression.
True and beloved community is built on deep meaningful communication, discussion back and forth, articulating and discovering stories that express and explain our positions, our places and our postures. We can then create art and poetry from the gestures, and re-imagine our communication again, and re-inforce our identities as inter-dependent, co-creative individuals, contributing to a common meaning, and a sense of community.
This is the truth of our being as human beings, we are all Empatharians.