Syrian child crying


I’m not a terrorist sympathiser. I’m a terrorist empathiser.
Sympathy suggests an assumption of shared values. “You have my sympathies, I would feel terrible in your shoes. Poor you.” It projects assumptions onto another party.
Empathy suggests an understanding of those values, even if they are not shared. It asks ‘How do you feel about that?’
Having the courage to take the journey to understand how someone arrived at their point of view – no matter how horrifying or sickening, frustrating or questionable – informs us on the most human of levels and greatly improves our chances of finding solutions that improve difficult conflicts, rather than reacting to them and making matters worse.