two of us on the run

(a mix for fall, a mix for escaping, a mix for boys and girls like you and me. slip out in the dead of night and follow me under the stars. the fire is coming, and I think we should run.)

1. Run - Daughter
2. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings - Father John Misty
3. Work Me - The Black Keys
4. Old Fashioned Morphine - Jolie Holland
5. I Put a Spell on You - Nina Simone
6. My One and Only Thrill - Melody Gardot
7. No Room for Doubt (ft. Willy Mason) - Lianne La Havas
8. Snake Eyes - The Milk Carton Kids

Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us - a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain - it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It’s made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse. Sometimes we care for another because we know we should, or because it’s asked for, but this doesn’t make our caring hollow. The act of choosing simply means we’ve committed ourselves to a set of behaviors greater than the sum of our individual inclinations: I will listen to his sadness, even when I’m deep in my own. To say going through the motions - this isn’t reduction so much as acknowledgement of effort - the labor, the motions, the dance - of getting inside another person’s state of heart or mind.

This confession of effort chafes against the notion that empathy should always rise unbidden, that genuine means the same thing as unwilled, that intentionality is the enemy of love. But I believe in intention and I believe in work. I believe in waking up in the middle of the night and packing our bags and leaving our worst selves for our better ones.

Leslie Jamison, The Empathy Exams