it has been my experience that many people can’t learn to be kind until they allow themselves to acknowkedge how they feel when unkindness is directed at them.
But some people, those who are focused outward rather than inward, first witness the pain they have inflicted on another by being unkind, and only then allow themselves to become aware of the pain they themselves have been denying.
In my view, this is the difference between empathy and caring.
The old saying about 'walking in another’s shoes' is all well and good, and I don’t mean to sound as though I don’t value empathy — but it does seem to reside somewhere in tbe sphere of the self-centered.
Caring, on the other hand, lives outside of the self. Caring is a citizen of the world, a part of society. It is the village where children learn that the pursuit of happiness is not compatible with the infliction of pain and suffering.
This story you tell is, to me, the story of a person traveling from adolescence to empathy to caring. It is a bumpy road, but well worth the journey.