All I have to do is think back to Valentine's Day to realize that every day of my life is a stay of execution, and Lin and I were celebrating life by conversing in the dark, and we came to that wonderful human trait, empathy. How wonderful that human beings have the capacity to place themselves in the shoes of other humans, try to understand their predicament, and want to help! Where does that come from? Where does it go?
I don't know how young I was when my mother began to work on me, civilizing this little animal and getting him to do the very basics, like holding a door open for others, and not letting it slam in their face. That was what you do! You help someone with a heavy load, because it's the right thing. Being polite eases the path for others, and it makes you feel good. Letting someone into your lane when you're rushing, late, to work. Little things, that establish the human connection. As small as a smile, that silently says, "I acknowledge your place in our world, and I'm glad to be sharing it with you."
From my mom.... Sybil. Not as a formal lesson, but by example and reward.
This was 1966. One year later, after a lifetime of love and giving and showing empathy by example, she died, just before I opened my medical office, the career that my parents had facilitated by making my dream, their dream, and began to honor my parents, as best I could, by just trying to help and to understand.