Last night, my husband got home from an outing and watched The Descendents, starring George Clooney. Not really a Clooney fan, but he was very good, and the movie was engrossing. Hubby and I both wished that some religious perspective might have been introduced, but then that would have made it a completely different movie, so — it is what it is. The reason I’m mentioning it at all, though is because we both commented, almost at precisely the same moment, that we were really enjoying the soundtrack of Hawaiian instrumental and folk music. It’s the sort of music you might like to listen to while working in the garden, or sweeping a patio, or cleaning a kid’s room.
Two Ladies: Elizabeth Duffy and Pat Gohn both offer columns this week that I think are well worth reading. Elizabeth Duffy confronts the issue of empathy and why we don’t have much of it online:
[Do I] enter deeply into the feelings of real people? More often I considered other people’s feelings as slightly irritating obstacles to work my way around, and/or placate.
For example, I recently participated in a raging internet debate. I took for granted that my side of the debate was founded on the highest ideals, so I had only to convert my opponent to my way of thinking, or, if that could not be done (as likely it couldn’t), then to shame him with his error.
I’d written out several biting responses and the only thing between me and the publish button was a sneaking suspicion that I might hurt his feelings. What’s more, I thought he deserved it, suffering as he did from an invincible erroneous conscience—the kind of thinking that cannot be converted in spite of the truth that’s obvious to everyone else. It’s difficult to assume that anyone else has pure intentions when we mistakenly believe that we alone have the monopoly on right thinking. So I kept rewriting my response in attempts to hurt his feelings more subtly, in a way that didn’t indict me as the despicable person I know I’m capable of being.
You’ll want to read it all. And then, because it is May, and because all of our musings and meanderings — even the ones about empathy in the world and online — can be entrusted into the care and keeping of Our Lady, you’ll want to check out Pat Gohn’s interesting thoughts on turning, again and again, to our mother — who leads us to Christ.