‘What If’? – We Looked Closer and Listened Harder

‘What If’? – We Looked Closer and Listened Harder

Today I attended the first half of a day-long workshop by a crowd called ‘WhatIf?’ .  It is a team of two colleagues working in the welfare sector.  They try to develope better empathy skills in as many people as is humanly possible.  It is to aid our family, friends and colleagues who have burdens in their mental health.  It is to help us see the person and not just the pathology.  To ask what if?  And to follow where that question leads us.


‘What If’? – We Looked Closer and Listened Harder

What if?

I looked –

really looked –


at the lines

on the brow,

beyond the tracks

in the eyes,

to the weary

pain within?

What if?

I saw

in the faraway look

not just the shadows


a flicker

of stunning strobes

of light


like technicolour

vivid visions?

What if?

I heard

in the gravely voice –

from too many smokes –

the struggle



the dream,

the clawing

for confidence

in that awkward pause

between words,

that is further stifled

by the voices

jibing and gibbering


the inner ear?

What if?

I heard

the heaving

behind the hero

in their

great Ulyssian Journey

of one day

in their life?

What if?

In my own

struggles to come

to grips with life,

I see

in others

my brothers

and sisters



and all


to be seen

for who we really are?

PS:  Thanks to Emily J (and her fab blogspace here)  for pointing out Dr Brene Brown’s TED talk on empathy here

Simon C.J. Falk                      26 March 2015

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