Friday, October 22, 2010

Sympathy and empathy are not the same.

An interesting article that P. John shared on Facebook. This part struck a chord:
‎It's even becoming more difficult for soldier and civilian to converse. Army Capt. Stefan Hutnik, a company commander in Afghanistan, recalls being home from a combat tour and being told by his wife, as they were headed out to a family dinner, please don't talk about the Army or the war. "But,'' he said sadly, "I don't have anything else to talk about.''
I think I walk that ever-widening gap. My heart bleeds for the families that have been torn apart by this war, whether by death or divorce due to the long separations or other issues. But at the same time, I'd rather talk about other things. Normal, cheerier, day-to-day topics. As a military member, I sympathize. But as someone who sits behind a desk, who's never deployed, I cannot empathize.

For the record: While I did go TDY (temporary duty) to Doha, Qatar, I do not count this as a deployment. No one does.

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