Friday, September 26, 2014
YOUR LIFE A-Z: VICARIOUS
Placing yourself in someone else’s shoes is the beginning of VICARIOUS action that leads you to empathy and compassion. Imagining yourself in the same predicament as someone else allows you to VICARIOUSLY feel, think, and act on behalf of another person. Acting as a substitute for someone else broadens your perspective and enables you to understand someone else’s suffering or pain. Have you ever had the experience of seeing a bad car-wreck and imagining how the victims were hurting and scared? That is a VICARIOUS moment. When you watch a movie and the movie elicits deep feelings for the actors you are experiencing a VICARIOUS moment. When you see someone else being hurt or bullied and you step in, not only are you acting from compassion, but also you are motivated to step in because you understand VICARIOUSLY how awful bullying feels. VICARIOUS moments provide us with opportunities to grow and practice Ubuntu. The next time you find yourself looking away from a homeless person or ignoring a disabled person, stop yourself and see if you can have a VICARIOUS moment. Ask yourself, “What would I want to hear right now if I were in his/her shoes?” Maybe just eye contact and a gentle hello are better than pretending the disabled person is invisible. Your face says a lot in moments like those. Don’t let fear prevent you from practicing a VIGARIOUS moment. If you will practice VIGARIOUS moments, you will begin to feel more alive and present to yourself and others.