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Letter From the Publisher, Maureen Hart Cary

March 2017

It seems many people are feeling unsettled these days, concerned about the future. I wonder sometimes if something is missing. Is it empathy? The best definition for empathy I could find explains it as “the capacity to understand and share the feelings of another.” More and more are we, as a whole, forgetting how to do this?

I can be a crier sometimes and can tear up for any old reason. National Anthem? Yep. Happy Birthday sung with family and friends? Yep. The passing of a total stranger I hear about on the news? Yep, again. While it can be a bit embarrassing to be so emotional, with age it has become easier to embrace these sort of things about myself. I now consider it a gift that I can understand and almost feel the joy and pain of others, hopeful that my empathy helps me connect with them. Such is the beauty of maturing and growing.

I’m afraid I wasn’t always that way. Looking back, I was certainly not as considerate a person as I have tried to become over the years. I remember quite clearly being bullied as a child, as well as being involved in some bullying of other teenage girls. It makes me cringe to recall some of those hurtful situations. I expect the worry of fitting in is what drove us to callously point out our differences. Never mind it was just dumb kid stuff; unkindly treatment of or by others has lasting effects.

Sadly, bullying has become easier with the introduction of social media. From the relative safety of one’s own computer, people no longer have to bully someone face to face; it can be done obscurely. Whatever form it takes, the mistreatment of others is harmful to everyone involved, including the bully. Whether it happens at school, home or work, or through social media, we need to know how to protect ourselves and even turn the situation around in a nonviolent way. This month’s Healthy Kids article by April Thompson, “Silencing Cyberbullies: How to Defuse Bad Actors,” teaches us ways to deal with cyberbullies and provides helpful online resources for facing any type of bullying. Please share it widely.

To happy, healthy, peaceful living

Maureen Cary
RI | Natural Awakenings |  401-709-2473