Review: There is no good card for this

There is no good card for this: what to say and do when life is scary, awful and unfair to the people you love
Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell
2017

Books and articles on caring abound. This is the best I have ever read.

It feels like sharing a cup of tea with Kelsey and Emily, hearing their wisdom whilst looking at Emily’s Empathy cards.
Except it’s written, illustrated and professionally referenced.

They start from the expectation our first response is “uhh…wow. Let me know if there’s anything I can do?”
That we want to help but are not sure of the next step. Because we fear messing it up or it being a burden.

Both authors have extensive experience in messy life happening to them and their friends. Kelsey has an academic and clinical social work background and Emily launched her Empathy Cards after the isolation of her cancer experience.

Like all good persuasive writing it has three parts.

1. Laying some groundwork
what are you like
background unpacking of your motivations
learning postures of empathy

2. The three touchstones of showing up
your want to help equips you to help
the importance of listening
small things have big impact

3. Just help me not be a disaster
practical and clear case studies
the do’s and don’ts

What I loved:
– Kelsey and Emily’s work in unpacking the concept of compassion.
Compassion is to notice, feel and respond.
They discuss how to grow in compassion and how to act in compassion.

step by step conversation and action points (especially for when I’m feeling socially awkward)

no guilt. About the bad job you may have done in the past

no superhumans need apply. Their suggestions are actionable by everyone and do not require vast commitments of energy.

There is no good card for this:
gives clarity on motivation
develops empathy and compassion
and provides concrete actions.

Every person who cares about another person should read this book – that’s everyone!

Please borrow my copy, or buy your own.

Moments of hypocrisy

Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing another.

I write a blog about loving people deeply (and letting others love you).
But I do not follow my own suggestions.

The unsent birthday card.
The unreturned text.
The abandoned draft email.
The silence of the phone.
The mask of fine.

It’s because I’m tired, I’m lazy, I’m undisciplined, I’m sick. Sorry friends.

I’ll keep trying, and you keep trying. Slowly we will love people more.