Steph Martin


I see the possibilities in others

...and in myself.

Truth seeker       Fiction writer      Photographer       Artist       Parent       Empath

gallery/sfo bodypaintingday steph martin

Empathy and Motor Neurons

It's my opinion that reacting to the 'mirror neurons' in one's brain is not the same as having empathy.
To feel someone else's sadness to the point that you yourself start to feel sad, even when a moment ago you were happy as a lark, is what might be partially responsible for my propensity for moodiness. Mirror neurons.
Empathy, on the other hand, is something which would inspire a person to act on their feelings.
To read about a Syrian refugee of today, or an Irish refugee a century ago, can evoke feelings similar to empathy in me. But genuine empathy would inspire me to lend a shoulder for a refugee to lean on.
I think it's entirely possible for someone to say they feel sorry for your situation in life, and then tell you to go back home now, you're ruining their day.
Is that genuine empathy?

And moreover, what is it when I walk into a restaurant but, as I'm about to sit at the empty, clean table, I realize there's a lingering energy from whoever sat there before? And whatever happiness or sadness or joy or trouble which occupied that table before my arrival, I now sense.
I can't really call that a reaction based on mirror neurons: I never saw or listened to the couple/group/solitaire.
What is it when I walk through the forest and I find myself halted because of radiant energy from across the next slope? And I know something is going on over there but cannot yet see it.
Sometimes I get weary of stepping out the front door (in a mood all my own) only to be bombarded by masses of conflicting energy fields round about me.
Anyway, I went ahead and signed up for a group thing next week. Excited about this class, but at the same time cautious: being in a group setting sometimes overwhelms me and I lose focus of my own individual path.