Self-care is a hot topic these days, and for good reason. You’re only able to take care of others if you can take care of yourself first. Having a relationship with yourself is key to having strong relationships with others . Sometimes, we need a little help when it comes to loving yourself and others. Lauren Casper is here to help with her new book, Loving Well in a Broken World: Discover the Hidden Power of Empathy.
According to the official description, Casper, through storytelling and vulnerability, empowers readers to discover the surprising and beautiful places empathy might lead us. Whether in the pews, on Twitter, in the hospital waiting room, around our dinner tables, or in the corners of our neighborhoods, Loving Well in a Broken World helps readers lean on empathy as a guide, as they seek to love their neighbors well, and change their own lives in the process.
The Tidbit: Congratulations on the release of Loving Well in a Broken World: Discover the Hidden Power of Empathy! What inspired you to write this book?
Lauren Casper: Thank you so much! This book was born out of my own struggles with how to engage in a world that seemed to be increasingly divided by our differences. I found fear, rather than love, to be the force guiding many conversations. There seemed to be an empathy deficit permeating our culture and I wanted to speak into that – to show the importance, and power, of empathy in our world.
TT: The book has a major emphasis on choosing empathy over apathy. How can one begin to make this change?
LC: The first step is deciding that if something is hurting our neighbors, it ultimately hurts us, too. In other words, it’s shifting from an individualistic mindset of every man for himself to a community mindset of if it matters to you, it matters to me. This simple shift in our thinking leads us into empathy.
TT: Why is it important for individuals to embrace their adversaries?
LC: I don’t know if embrace is the word I would choose. It’s important to love everyone – our neighbors and our enemies, but sometimes that’s best done at a distance. Some people find themselves in abusive situations or faced with people who are actively wishing them harm. In cases like those, love can look like speaking truth to power in the hopes that others will learn and grow and become better neighbors. Sometimes love looks like walking away, reaching out to and supporting others who are in similar situations, and praying for hearts to change.
TT: What do you hope the major takeaway for readers is?
LC: My hope is that readers walk away feeling hopeful about the future and empowered to make a difference in the world. So often we want to make positive changes in our communities, but don’t know how. Learning how to cultivate empathy in ways that lead us into deeper relationship with our neighbors can light the path forward.
TT: What can we look forward to next from Lauren Casper?
LC: I don’t have any immediate, concrete writing plans right now. The last 3-4 years has been pretty intense for our family as we’ve gone through a number of crises, the most recent being my husband experiencing a heart attack and recovering from myocarditis. So right now, I am focused on sharing the message of Loving Well in a Broken World, volunteering in my community, and caring for my family. But, I would really love to publish a children’s book sometime in the future