“Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.”
 —Andrew Boyd

 Empathy isn’t a word I usually see associated with Poison Ivy, but i believe it to be vital to her character. Ivy has such an intense, symbiotic connection to The Green, the life force of the planet, that it is hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. I think most people search for a deeper meaning to their lives, but few people are willing to be inconvenienced by their beliefs. Few people are so dedicated to a cause that they are literally willing to give up everything for it, but that is exactly what she has done. Any chance of an ordinary human life has been discarded in favor of a deeper, more meaningful connection to something infinitely greater than the self. I wonder what that must be like, to constantly hear and feel the living planet around you, especially in the times that we live in. The joy of new growth and beginnings in the spring. The vitality of summer. The innumerable lives and deaths. And the continuous, insatiable destruction of mankind. Is it overwhelming?

 How terrifying it must be, then, to lose that connection. To lose that greater part of your own self. To have everything that you have lived for, everything that you love, constantly threatened. Poison Ivy serves as an important inspiration in my life to look beyond personal issues and focus on what really matters; that all things are connected and all actions have consequences, sometimes unintended. To work towards and protect a better future for those that cannot do it themselves. This image shows the cost of empathy, but that same connection is what makes us stronger in the first place.

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