I Feel Your Pain

Back when former U.S. President Bill Clinton was out on the campaign trail, he would cast his eyes down, press his lips together, and then say to his fellow Americans, “I feel your pain.” He masterfully played the empathy card and that may have been a contributing factor to his successful election in November 1992. I voted for him in ‘92 and ‘96, but I always felt that his “I feel your pain” shtick was kind of hokey.

I’ve always thought of myself to be a sympathetic person. Sympathy is largely used to convey commiseration, pity, or feelings of sorrow for someone else who is experiencing misfortune. I could feel sorry for people who find themselves in tough situations or who are suffering. Sympathy is acknowledging someone else’s pain. It’s what I felt toward individuals who are disabled or handicapped.

But I have now discovered the difference between sympathy and empathy. Empathy is the capacity or ability to imagine oneself in the situation of another, experiencing the pain, emotions, ideas, or opinions of that person. It’s choosing to not just acknowledge the pain, but to feel the pain with those in tough situations or who are suffering.

And now I can honestly say that I am experiencing true empathy, maybe for the first time in my life, for temporarily or permanently disabled people. Because now I am — temporarily I hope — disabled. I am handicapped. And now I feel your pain.

FOWC with Fandango — Origin


It’s February 2, 2023. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “origin.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.