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Peculiar Treasures: Vice and Virtues of Empathy, Discipline, Want, Remembrance, (Screen) Reflection and Sanctuary

By Kellie Purcill

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Empathy: a rebuttal to the suggestion that empathy is a finite resource “…we believe that empathy is a choice that we make whether to extend ourselves to others. The “limits” to our empathy are merely apparent, and can change, sometimes drastically, depending on what we want to feel.”

Discipline: a new approach and interpretation of better ways to discipline kids “… (those) who aim to control (kids’) behavior—rather than helping them control it themselves—undermine the very elements that are essential for motivation: autonomy, a sense of competence, and a capacity to relate to others.”

Want: how women’s soccer showed more than skill and dedication “What moves me is the players’ faces, and watching women want…We see women legislating, creating, speaking, protesting… But we still don’t often see women in the act of wanting. And we need to see this, because when you’re in the act of wanting something badly enough, there isn’t room for self-consciousness.”

Remembrance: How reading kids books can lead to memories and tears “Whereas children exist in their own endless present; everything takes forever to them. Reading to a child, falling into the rhythm of the words and the pages, is as close as I can reliably get to joining my daughter in her slowed-down kid time. That’s what makes it so painful to turn the final pages of these books and watch a child grow up all at once.”

(Screen) reflection: reflecting on the impact screens have on people around the world “The documentary …highlights the tragic effects on teenagers who become hooked on video games, playing for dozens of hours at a time often without breaks to eat, sleep or even use the bathroom. Many come to view the real world as fake.”

Sanctuary: when Muslim’s during Ramadan are donating to help rebuild burnt black churches in America’s south “The American Muslim community cannot claim to have experienced anything close to the systematic and institutionalized racism and racist violence that has been visited upon African Americans. We do, however, understand the climate of racially inspired hate and bigotry that is being reignited in this country. We want to let our African American brothers and sisters know that we stand in solidarity with them during this dark hour.”

First Draft Poetry this week is from Sandra, in response to the Muslim response to help rebuild the burned churches in the south.

I’ve been thinking lately of sanctuary-
letting the word slip though,
slide through,
settle into spaces
I do not own;
who does?

If I can offer to pay for a few pine boards,
the boxes of nails to rebuild,
or just see you
sacred in your space
then I can make myself one more.

In buzzing hum and swooping song
make the space
wherever.

About Kellie Purcill

lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

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