Behind your mask

I think a lot about empathy.  It is something that I believe is not only good for the soul but also allows us to better serve our clients. Often, we find ourselves creating boundaries between us and others. Our masks seem so different. Maybe we're even very different at a deeper level. But designing experiences for others requires trying on their mask. And in order to do that, we must identify and remove our own.


My mask is female. A designer. A resident of Uptown, Minneapolis.

I am my mother. 

I am my father.

I am the collection of every feeling I have ever felt.

I am every thought that has ever crossed my mind. I am my memories, my passions, my desires, my hungers and my pain.

I am the tenuous bond of electrons that hold this body together.

I am the sum of every person I have ever met.

I am more than a list of bullet points wantonly pinned to a cork board.

I am me.

I am confined to this tiny fraction of all the knowledge of all the world that this body has seen. Tinted by the filter of these hazel eyes.

But if I could be you.

If I could dive inside and live between your ears.

For just a moment.

If I could watch the world from behind the panes of your eyes. If I could step inside your skin and feel the weight. The magnitude. Of being you. . . . How? Would I have any room left for hate. For condescension, malice, jealousy or anger?

How? Could I feel anything-

But love?