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June 24, 2013



Amazing post. This is one of the reasons I write stories.

Michelle F

So, this reminded me of when I was 11 years old and I had received eight nightgowns for Christmas. All from different people (probably all of my Bulgarian relatives). But seriously, EIGHT nightgowns? That night we went over to my grandmother's house and I opened, you guessed it, a nightgown. I naturally burst out with, "ANOTHER nightgown?"

My older sister whisper/hissed to me, "You NEVER say something like that! Even if you hate your present, you PRETEND to like it so that the other person won't feel bad. It's good manners."

I distinctly remember not understanding why she was so shocked. I had received a nightgown I didn't want. Was I supposed to LIE?

I't funny to remember back to how I felt, because it's like having a foot in childhood and a foot in adulthood. I remember exactly how justified I felt, and yet now I understand what my sister was saying and why I was wrong. Funny.


Amen, sister! To experience what another person is going through, to feel those same emotions and see those same places has helped me gain so much perspective in life. And there's even science to back it up! They're learning what the rest of us already knew all along.

Jaya Lakshmi

The difference between sympathy and empathy is crucial. Society teaches us sympathy, and books teach us empathy. Azar Nafisi stresses that in her literary discussions, intensely.

Marcus Aurelius

Hey, Shannon! I really liked the Oswalt post you linked to. One thing (and please don't take this the wrong way), you might want to put up a language warning for some of your younger readers? Maybe? No? I dunno.

Regardless, I think the most telling difference between sympathy and empathy is there are no races in genre refered to as "Sympaths". Or there weren't.

I'm going to write that story now, and all the other cool races are going to laugh at the Gorians when they boldly proclaim that their racial ability is to "feel sorry for folks".

And then it's on to galactic war, which the Gorians will feel really, really bad about, but what are you gonna do?

Anyway. Yeah... books always make me cry.

*end transmission*


Wow. It makes me feel cooler for being a book nerd...

Reminds me of one time I felt SO BAD for this girl who got up to do her presentation in my college class and just started crying because she forgot what she was going to talk about. I just about died for her, and when I told my roommate later she was like, "I don't know what she had to cry for..." she didn't understand at all--she thought it was totally unbelievable that someone would burst into tears for something so silly.

Anyways. You're amazing. Thanks for the post.

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