Yes, I am crying - and yes, I have smoke in my eyes but that is not the reason for the tears. 2020 has been a challenge for all and there just seems to be no end in sight. So, as someone who considers themselves to be the most positive person in the room - even I have had those occasional outbursts of tears.

I have been feeling overwhelmed with empathy for all those who have had Covid, who have lost loved ones with Covid or due to social issues, riots, etc., and lately those that have lost their homes during the recent fires.

So, I began to wonder, is empathy a good thing or a bad thing (as sometimes it is exhausting)? So, I looked it up and found a great article of "Five Ways Empathy is Good for Your Health" by Elizabeth A. Segal, Ph.D.

• Empathy can help your survival. It can help you run away from a dangerous situation. Survival is a result of reading others and is the core of empathy.

• Empathy connects you to others. Beyond survival, empathy is about feeling and understanding the experiences of others. And being connected to others is good for our well-being.

• Empathy can lower stress. Studies show that when we can regulate our emotions, we are better able to relate to others in positive ways. Thus, the side benefit from being fully engaged empathically is that we can be exercising good control over our emotions, taking care of our own stress.

• Empathy is an antidote to burn-out. A team of researchers showed that the higher a person's empathic abilities, the lower the job burn-out. And when we are in that good space at work, we communicate with others in ways that promote collaboration.

• Empathy guides our moral compass. Empathy tells us how we treat others and how we expect to be treated. Empathy is a foundation for the moral behaviors that create healthier communities, from which all of us benefit.

We at Gresham Ford have been so lucky! While many of our employees were displaced, none have lost a home. We have shown our gratitude, in part, by donating to the Bald Face Truth Foundation who is assisting those locally with needs due to the wildfires. Please join us if you can! Go to: to donate today!

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