Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us—a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain—it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It’s made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse. Sometimes we care for another because we know we should, or because it’s asked for, but this doesn’t make our caring hollow. The act of choosing simply means we’ve committed ourselves to a set of behaviors greater than the sum of our individual inclinations: I will listen to his sadness, even when I’m deep in my own. To say ‘going through the motions’—this isn’t reduction so much as acknowledgment of the effort—the labor, the motions, the dance—of getting inside another person’s state of heart or mind.
This confession of effort chafes against the notion that empathy should always arise unbidden, that genuine means the same thing as unwilled, that intentionality is the enemy of love. But I believe in intention and I believe in work. I believe in waking up in the middle of the night and packing our bags and leaving our worst selves for our better ones.”
– Leslie Jamison, “The Empathy Exams” (via The Believer)
did u guys see me at the oscars
You looked great, pizza. Congrats on everything. I love you.
Thanks, John. I love you too.I’m so glad my parents still get along.
It’s been 12 years and I’m still very very upset that Richard Harris was only Dumbledore in 2 of the Harry Potter movies
Anonymous asked: Has the catitude joing ship long sailed? It seems like a great community I'd love to be a part of :)
hm, it’s sort of weird. .we are just a group of friends, and of course we as individuals have other friends and make new friends all the time, but catitude as a particular set of friends is a thing because of past shared experiences (some of which are in esther’s book, obvs). so it’s not really a “Thing” people can “join” or anything. friendships don’t really work that way i think. the internet makes it more complicated/strange, but really we are just friends who met online and then did stuff together and grew and changed and learned from each other as people, not some kind of club or high order of fanciness. just humans, ya dig