It always amazes me how you can know a person for a very long time, then wake up one day and realize that you barely know them at all. Then there are the people who, no matter how much time or distance is between you and them, they ALWAYS know when something isn’t right with you or in your world. During those instances when someone or something has disrupted my flow or thrown something in my life out of balance, even slightly, Super Son will say “I sense a disturbance in the Force“, which for those of you familiar with Star Wars (1977), you know that is in reference to a classic line said by Obi Wan Kenobi. It may be my body language, my tone of voice or my overall mood he’s picking up on, but he’s rarely incorrect. Right now, there is definitely a disturbance in the Force.
Everyone has a least one person with the innate ability to access when you’re not 100% yourself or at your best. Everyone has that one person who is in tune with them to the degree that they can easily sense a disturbance in your Force. Whether you had a hard day at work, encountered a difficult person in the grocery store (it can’t just be me) or had a disagreement with someone you love. That ability is also referred to as empathy. It is completely natural, but not often utilized in our society because we’re often too self-centered to notice what others may be dealing with.
Lack of empathy is why some people are so quick to say that people should “get over” the verdict in the Zimmerman trial, because it wasn’t their child that was murdered. Lack of empathy is why some people are able to watch an elderly man being brutally beaten at a gas station and not make any attempt to help him or even dial 911. Lack of empathy is why some people don’t have any respect for human life. Until…they become a victim and want someone to help them.
Being empathetic towards others doesn’t make a person appear weak. If anything we have the capacity for empathy because it makes us stronger. Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes for a brief period of time, can actually help you to make better decisions for yourself longterm. Knowing, even through empathy, what it is like to lose a child, a spouse or a parent can improve how you deal with others in a similar situation. Knowing, even through empathy, what it is like to have cancer, depression, dementia or even a broken heart, can help you to help others, and yourself, in the same or similar situation. Knowing, even briefly through empathy, someone else’s struggle, pain or tragedy makes for a more compassionate and understanding human being and human experience. I think we could all use a little more empathy in our lives.
This disturbance in the Force that I’m experiencing will soon be resolved and I’ll be back to my normal. Nothing lasts forever and I’m very resilient. Plus I have a lot of positive distractions I can focus my energy on. But now I know what this feels like and so does Super Son. Now, if a day ever comes and he goes through a similar experience, he will likely have this time to reference back to in order to help him through his disturbance. And may the Force be with him.