Empathy, as defined in Merriam Webster's online dictionary, is 'the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions.'
     Empathy is one of the six senses of the Conceptual Age, as explained in Daniel Pink's book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future **. <> Empathy is a concept consistently necessary in my life and work.
     In a Numerology chart there is a grid which is calculated from the date of birth. The nine digits are arranged in a tic-tac-toe game design. The distribution of digits into lines is then examined. There is one line which suggests a predisposition to developing empathy.
     My first Numerology teacher, Dr. Juno Jordan, labels this line the Line of Sensitivity. For a while I thought of it in terms that were entirely emotional, reflecting my learned belief that sensitivity is not an admirable trait.
     As I learnt to write and read Numerological charts, I included my father, and discovered that he had arrived on a day that included the Line of Sensitivity. Like most children in that time and place, I had perceived my father as someone strong and out-going who knew how the world worked; who could navigate at will; who did not exhibit sensitivity as I defined it.
     When I asked him, I was astonished that he recognized at once the attribute of shyness. He insisted that yes, as a boy he had indeed been timid.
     My dad was the firstborn in his family, he arrived in 1933. In 1939 war was declared and my grandfather signed up for military service.
     As was the social norm at the time, this shy little six year old boy was told that he was now the Man of the House, and that it was his job to look after his mammy and his little brother and sister until his daddy came home. No pressure.
     My grandfather served in Burma and returned to his family after the war was over. By then my father had become a caring young man who was willing to imagine himself in the place of peers who were living with greater losses. His set-point of shyness and fear was transformed by experience into the ability to sympathise with others, and even to recognise and appreciate diffidence. The man I knew was deeply involved in serving his community: he volunteered in multiple places to promote better lives for vulnerable people.
     In my earliest school-days, one weekend afternoon would be dedicated to visiting a nearby children's home. It was a place which housed children with physical and developmental challenges. Dad was a member of a group involved in the fund-raising, and he went further. We would always visit one particular resident, a young woman named Margaret. She was a few years older than I was, and as a family we would take her with us on picnics in the summer, or for tea in our home when the weather sent us indoors.
     Our family moved away from the area when I was seven, yet I remember Margaret well. I remember being admonished to be kind and respectful to all the children at the residence. I remember the exercise in gratitude, the acknowledgement that our family was lucky to enjoy the life we did. I was aware, as time rolled by, that the vocabulary we had applied to those children fell out of use, and inclusive words replaced the judgements of the past.
     My path has not been without personal obstacles, and I have been granted privations and tribulations which have opened my heart to the reality of others. Claircognisance requires profound amounts of empathy, and if my own challenges were to have the necessary impact, then I needed a good grounding from the very star of this human experience.
     I arrived on day that did not provide the Line of Sensitivity in my grid. I had need of other attributes: so I came into a household which could teach me the lessons of the Line. I chose my parents well. My father's struggles to be a Man of the House at the age of six changed his life, and were a wondrous gift to me

     Jo Leath has been supporting clients through change and growth since the 1980s.
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