Empathy that Leads to Action

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"Empathy leads to compassion" by Unbound.org (CatholicMom.com)

Copyright 2020 Unbound. All rights reserved.

This reflection from the Unbound community is from Unbound Church Relations Director Paco Wertin. 

Some say that empathy is the gateway to compassion. Imagining how someone feels, then trying to feel that yourself, can lead us to take action, responding to the feeling by doing something about it. 

During a recent visit to Unbound’s Kansas City headquarters, project coordinator Vincent Murmu from India shared with us that Rosa, the mother of a sponsored child, learned to write her name by participating in her local Unbound mothers group. Rosa had never gone to school. She felt the pain and burden of those years without formal education. 

Not so for her daughter, Teresa. Rosa, a single mom who cared for her three children alone, made every sacrifice so that Teresa could go to school. With Rosa’s encouragement and hard work, and the support of a sponsor, Teresa had what she needed to become the nurse she is today. 

The pain and suffering that Rosa had endured gave her the imagination and strength to set Teresa on a different path. Teresa’s sponsor could also, from a distance, feel the burden Teresa carried and reach out with a helping hand. 

Unbound’s mission is to walk with the poor and marginalized. That mission, born of the deep faith of our founders and embraced by our community of sponsors, staff and families, flows from empathy and compassion. We feel the pain and the hurt of others because we’ve been through pain and hurt ourselves. We recognize it and we want to do something about it. 

Empathy can be a gateway to compassion, making a difference in our world by inspiring us to walk with someone in need who has set a path forward and is making those in her family proud. 


Copyright 2020 Paco Wertin

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Unbound is an international nonprofit founded by lay Catholics grounded in the Gospel call to put the needs of the marginalized and vulnerable first. We build relationships of mutual respect and support that bridge cultural, religious and economic divides. We bring people together to challenge poverty in 18 countries. We invite you to join us. Find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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