20 Truths from ‘Brave Souls’ by Belinda Bauman

1. “What impacted me most was their capacity to love. They regularly overcame their wounds—physical, emotional, and psychological— choosing to forgive the perpetrators, reconcile with their enemies, and serve their communities” (Page 6).

2. “Empathy became an engine to bring change to their communities. It was real, muscular, disciplined” (Page 7).

3. “Empathy is also a radical departure from sympathy in that it doesn’t just involve our emotions. It engages our intellect as well, and it’s proven true by our actions. Leaning into the situation, perspective and feelings of others so we can act for the good of all is a helpful way to understand a practiced, embodied kind of empathy” (Page 8).

4. “But for all our connectedness, we are subtly—and sometimes not so subtly—ignoring each other’s perspectives, circumstances, and needs. Instead of seeking to understand, we quietly pronounce judgment, stoking a simmering anger. Or we smile civilly, nodding our head, feeding the isolation among us” (Page 9).

5. “Empathy is a movement deep in our soul. It takes us from standing by to standing up, from sleeping to awakening” (Page 12).

6. “Empathy is not reserved for a few saints who walk above the earth. It’s not a feeling or an epiphany. No, empathy is gritty, personal, concrete, and practical, available for anyone thirsty enough to pursue real love” (Page 29).

7. “Empathy is the place where I meets you—where souls intersect at the crossroads of love” (Page 38).

8. “The incarnation is the fullest expression of the empathy of God” (Page 40).

9. “…civility will never bring real change. It may temper the polarization, emotions, and even some violence. But it will never bring true reconciliation, peace, or love” (Page 44).

10. “Empathy not only makes us better at being human but also is key to ensuring our very existence. Without it, we isolate, grow fearful, begin to hate, and ultimately fight. Relationships fall apart. People take revenge. Nations start wars” (Page 48).

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Source: Christianity Today