One of the things I know needs work among my midot (aside from that famous redhead temper, of course) is my ability to really, truly empathize with others.
I will admit that this is a real fault. Some of the things I hear about people grappling with, in the news or in my social sphere, just make me think "I don't get it! Snap out of it!" Despite this, I can usually be (hopefully) a good parent, a good friend, a good listener. Internally, though, I don't always empathize enough with struggles that differ from my own.
There was even a point where I got interested in reading non-fiction works about or by people who struggle with things like mental illness or challenging types of upbringings that differed vastly from anything I'd ever experienced, attempting to gain some insight into subjects that baffle me.
When Ann has a cough, and the line is blurred between the involuntary coughing and the "Mommy, look at me, I'm sick" excessive coughing, I sometimes tell her to try and stop the coughing, to count to ten before the next cough, to get a drink and think about something else. And, of course, to grin and bear it when it comes to that awful cough medicine.
Well, now I'm the one who's coughing. And my suggestions to Ann are seeming pretty lame as I struggle with that back-of-throat tickle or the chest-tingling urge to cough. Let me just say that there's nothing like a spoonful of empathy to make that humble pie go down!