Winning 3rd Place in State Essay Writing Competition

What an honour… to win 3rd place in the Country Women’s Association of NSW annual “Garry Prize” essay writing competition. I was absolutely delighted to have this recognition from the Honorary Editor of The Country Woman Journal.

The allocated topic was “In modern times, do we have the capacity to harness the power of empathy for one another?” I found this topic very passionate to write about and relatable to my own personality. The ability to be able to write to engage your readers and touch their lives, is compelling to any author.

The award was presented to me during the CWA Annual State Conference held in Albury last week. I have had a wonderful experience being part of a renowned organisation and dedicated group of individuals that aim to improve the lives of women and their families, through policy-setting agenda and support.

If you would like to read my prize-winning entry in the CWA essay competition, I have included it below:

“In modern times, do we have the capacity to harness power of empathy for one another?”

Another generation comparison and our personal perception of age stereotypes or the modern time reflection back to the past.  Empaths exist, with the ability to feel emotions within others, highly sensitive individuals and expressive in emotional connection.  The power of empathy is an action and ability to be compassionate and commit to relieving another’s suffering, also giving satisfaction to the provider to be able to make a difference.  I do not believe modern times is limiting the power of empathy, but rather the manner of how empathy may be presented has changed.  The desire to remain compassionate in a modern-day life balance, is still sought after through personal development.

Modern times accustom the age of the working woman and the changing role of the modern-day father.  A time of work-life balance in recognition of prime aspirations.  Time constraints, responsibility and personal growth all play a part.  Having the capacity to show empathy is still second nature and a modern interest in personal development is pursued.  The importance of optimism and happiness is sought through balancing one’s life in the field of contemporary self-help, psychology and life coaching.  Not just the empathy is put into action but a desire to understand the philosophy behind it has developed a large personal growth industry.

It may be argued that there are limitations in modern times to harness this power of empathy but realising the varied opportunities for society to emotionally connect is enlightening.  Technological advancement and social media have provided a new platform to connect with complete strangers.  A platform that harnesses new friendships and still allows an understanding and connection never seen before.  During this drought, through social media and television broadcasts, the Australian community have donated money and groceries to support farmers.  New friendships have been formed as farmers are emotionally connecting with empathic strangers.  Empathy is alive and well and not limited in any way.

Empathy is not really about the comparison between modern times and those prior.  More importantly, it is about personality types.  As an empath myself, I am open to other people’s emotions, sensitive and intuitively feel the energy of others.  Time hasn’t changed my ability to be compassionate.  In fact, my compassion is able to be spread further in modern times.  Volunteers are the most empathic people, giving up their personal time to help others without any pay or recognition.  The number and size of voluntary organisations have in fact increased in modern times, which proves the manifesto of the importance of empathy in action.  Nevertheless there will always be unscrupulous individuals in our society exploiting our empathy, no more or no less in modern times.

Empathy is a fundamental aspect of humanity and the need for individuals to share or nurture prevails.  Change is constant.  Being open to modern time opportunities through social media to connect to a larger congregation is powerful and harnesses compassion on a larger scale.  Balancing employment and family life and the pursuit of happiness, brings philosophical empaths in modern times.

Karen Weller

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