I think of empathy as something like this:
Given a certain set of life experiences, and “personality” / modalities of how to approach ideas or concepts, and maybe states of internal biochemistry … the outcome of emotional states in response to communication could be predicted (and might be the same for any one of us). Empathy?
I can’t possibly predict or appreciate … empathize about which parameters you operate within, when we interact. Also of course, words are so vexingly subjective and lacking clear common definition for so many things. We’re communicating through this method of barely functioning simplified abstractions, with humans that are full of their own And different analytical tools to ‘decode’ our words.
So if I make some joke about being a holy eye guru, it could really offend somebody who is maybe finding solace and peace in some related spiritual experience, that to them I appear to be making fun of, and as extension, of them.
In effect by adding the sort of humor and sarcasm we do here, we maybe speak more to a certain group of people, and equally possible exclude another.
That’s sort of part of what I struggle with a bit. On one hand I’m mostly having fun if I get to be my own version of this flawed human and my way of expressing things, on the other I”m aware that I’m affecting, maybe limiting potential experiences for those seeking answers to the topic at hand - eyeballs.
Probably the real answer is having more than one voice, take, perspective on things. Like the podcast episodes, and individual progress reports, and various participants helping others.
I’d honestly probably be a whole lot less concerned if we didn’t live in this super weird time of everything-outrage and Twitter mobs.
Or maybe don’t actually care. My mind changes on this all the time.