Ignite your empathy

© Caryn Mandabach Productions…………………………………………… Peaky Patriarch portrayed by Cillian Murphy

Yesterday’s Russian invasion of Ukraine is too awful a focus. We autopsied its cause in the last Blogos, below. In its bleak mid-winter, war reshapes minds and hearts. Et alors ….

The breathless wait is overtaken by anticipation: the end of February ends the deep delay to the broadcasting of Peaky Blinders‘ final season, that brutal band of bastards.

In a dialogue with The Guardian‘s Ed Cumming which strayed to real life having covered historic fictional life, Cillian Murphy talked of the importance Listening has to empathy: this in his capacity as supporter of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway. It strives to infuse Empathy throughout the curriculum in virtue of the positive influence it has on academic and individual achievement. “If you’re listening to someone, you can respond emotionally to them”, he says.

What does that mean? Well, our take on its meaning is to listen with your whole heart; enabling truthful response. A response which by-passes the pre-planning and lands directly from your core, bringing certain knowledge the speaker has been heard: with compassion.

Of all the people we teach how to Listen, children get it fastest. Maybe in virtue they lack the baggage which impedes adults to take it seriously, maybe because they recognize it as a skill they want to learn? Validation and acknowledgement with which the Listener gifts the speaker are priceless gems strengthening both.

In ancient times, men sat around fires listening to logs crackling and burden sharing. They were known as Elders (eld is Nors for fire) and that empathic form of communication – the circle, one speaking at a time, the restorative gaze into dancing light – enables a sense of skinship to flourish. We all feel better for being heard. Gorgeously, one feels yet better for Listening. Try it and see?

Peaky Blinders : 27.ii.22 on BBC1 at 21.00hrs