God whispered, “You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn’t you know that I gave all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me.

You know how the story ends. He escaped and went on to become the greatest chief Suntown ever had. He never built a shrine or a temple or even a shack in the name of Tia. In the Great Book, her name is never mentioned again. He never mused about her or even asked where she was buried. Tia was a virgin. She was beautiful. She was poor. And she was a girl. It was her duty to sacrifice her life for his.

A person imbued with compassion and self-understanding can readily love oneself and exhibit endless sympathy for all people. A person who is unkind to their self can never transcend their corrupt barriers much less run into the world with open arms enthusiastically embracing humankind and all of nature with uninhibited friendliness and goodwill.

True empathy is not about waiting to understand another person; it is about proactively seeking to do so. It takes effort to give another person your full time and attention; to ask others how they are feeling and if they coping well with things. And don’t overlook those closest to you. Never take anyone for granted. Avoid being too preoccupied to sit down and talk with your children, partners and colleagues.

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