Tag Archives: empathy

Appalling people who won’t help kid in T-shirt in freezing New York

What is wrong with our country if after two hours of NO ONE responds to an obvious need of a child freezing in New York.

Well, there is a heart-warming end to this video project (which was acted and is not a real runaway), but the last person you’d you expect reaches out. Where is America’s heart?

Oedipus Rex and Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph and Oedipus RexWreck-It Ralph, a child’s movie teaching the mature theme of empathy, has everything to do with Oedipus Rex. The Theban tragedy explores human’s lot in life. Are helpless pawns of cruel fate?

Oedipus

A minor theme however can be find in how the the townspeople have compassion on their hapless king. Oedipus unwittingly murders his father and unwittingly marries his mother. I say “unwittingly,” but in reality Oedipus did everything he possibly could to UNFULFILL the ill-boded oracle.

He left (what he thought was) his hometown and his parents. He went far away from Corinth to Thebes. On the road, he was attacked, and defending himself, he killed a man. He arrived at Thebes and delivered the town from the evil Sphynx. In gratitude, the city makes him king, and he marries the queen, recently widowed under mystery. It progressively is revealed that Corinth was NOT Oedipus’ hometown and his “parents” there were adoptive. His real parents were in Thebes.

Oedipus gouges out his eyes and exiles himself. He is horrified by his heinous sin. The populace is more forgiving. They feel empathy.

Wreck-It Ralph is a video game bad guy. At his game’s 30th anniversary party, he’s not invited (because he’s the bad guy). In a quest for acceptance, he decides to get a medal and invades “Hero’s Duty” by cruising through the power cables. Things don’t go smoothly because a Cybug blasts off with him and the fly into girl race-car game “Sugar Rush.”

In this candyland, a snotty girl calls him a hobo and waltzes off with his medal. Despite this, he defends her from the witchy “most popular girls in school” other racers. He has compassion on her. She becomes his first friend.

Eventually, Fix-It Felix — the good guy counterpart to Ralph — learns to feel Ralph’s pain. He acquires this highest of human virtues: empathy.

Christianity is empathy. God felt humanity’s pain (the fall and death from sin) and alleviated this pain (He sent Jesus to take the hit for us). If we receive Jesus, we can enjoy right relationship with God.

Note: Oedipus and Wreck-It Ralph seems to me to be the perfect comparison and contrast.

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Hardship

hardship

‘It’s hard to care when all you do is lose’

Robert Ashcraft

Robert Ashcraft

My son, a freshman, who led our small high school’s varsity soccer team out of last place last year into fourth place this year, said this. I had no immediate response. The sheer profundity had to sink in slowly.

This was the game when we engineered the leagues biggest upset. The other coach was mad at his players. To be sure, they suffered from overconfidence at the beginning and depression at the end. But my players were sharp and worked hard. Robert wrecked havoc.

This was the game when we engineered the league’s biggest upset. The other coach was mad at his players. To be sure, they suffered from overconfidence at the beginning and depression at the end. But my players were sharp and worked hard. Robert wrecked havoc.

His response was to my urgings to see more leadership from him. His club team is losing. He scores goals, they lose anyway, he clams up. I told him to stop being such a nice guy, get in the face of his teammates and tell them to man up (they are afraid of the ball)*. I was completely unprepared for his answer. (You ought to listen to your teenager.)

It is hard to care when others don’t, when all around you is discouraging. Too true!

Lighthouse Christian Academy had its best season ever.

Lighthouse Christian Academy had its best season ever this year.

And yet this world needs desperately people who care — when it is hard. We need Christians who care when it seems like we are being overrun by the loud voices of hate. We need evangelizers when we get ignored, heckled, mocked. We need people not lulled into a false sense of security, hypnotized by the American good life.

This was our high school's first game, when they got a tie and started to believe in themselves.

This was our high school’s first game, when they got a tie and started to believe in themselves.

Maybe the reason why we don’t pray more is not laziness. Maybe we just don’t care. We need to care enough for others to pray. Jesus viewed with multitude “moved to compassion.” The disciples viewed them as a nuisance, or as a means to an end.

It’s been a week, and I’m still trying to formulate a response to Robert. How can I get him to care for his soccer team?

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*Don’t worry. None of his club teammates or teammates’ families read this blog.