Lately, I’ve been reading about the connection between words, thoughts, and actions. I think a lot about words, a consequence of being a writer and the three years of Latin my mom forced me to take.

Recently I was reminded of the literal definition of the word “pathetic.”

It’s interesting how the informal definition has such a negative connotation. It’s reflective of a greater imbalance. Embedded in the word, is our society’s habit of victim blaming.

For some folks eliciting empathy is an assault and an act worthy of scorn. Instead of viewing the injured party with kindness and compassion, tragedy and failure are viewed as immorality; a sign that the universe (or god) is confirming a person’s unworthiness. People who think like that are dicks.

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