Are you Empathetic?

Dr. Brené Brown is a researcher-storyteller and kind of a rock star for me. I previously posted her TED Talk on Vulnerability where she laid out some deep truths in such an elegant and simplistic manner with a dash of humor in a way that only she could do.

In her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brown breaks down vulnerability to reveal what she calls “wholeheartedness”: The capacity to engage in our lives with authenticity, cultivate courage and compassion, and embrace — not in that self-help-book, motivational-seminar way, but really, deeply, profoundly embrace — the imperfections of who we really are. It is sheer brilliance.

In this sweet & short video, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) teamed up with animator Katy Davis to bring to life an excerpt from Brown’s longer talk on the power of vulnerability and the difference between empathy and sympathy, based on her most recent book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. (also brilliant)

“The truth is, rarely can a response make something better — what makes something better is connection.”

How many of you can agree to this statement?

How many of us are actually connecting when we communicate?

In her book, Brown writes:

Vulnerability isn’t good or bad. It’s not what we call a dark emotion, nor is it always a light, positive experience.
Vulnerability is the core of all emotions and feelings. To feel is to be vulnerable. To believe vulnerability is weakness is to believe that feeling is weakness. To foreclose on our emotional life out of a fear that the costs will be too high is to walk away from the very thing that gives purpose and meaning to living.

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Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.

How vulnerable are you willing to be?

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