Origins – Doing and Feeling.

If you watch a furious athletic event, and you get tired, though the athletes expend all the energy – that’s vicarious fatigue.
If your friend goes on a bender, and as you watch him adsorb one drink after another, you begin to feel giddy and stimulated, that’s vicarious intoxication.
If you watch a mother in a film or play suffer horribly at the death of her child, and you go through the same agony, that’s vicarious torment.
You can experience an emotion, then, in two ways: firsthand, through actual participation: or vicariously, by becoming empathetically involved in another person’s feelings.
Some people, for example, lead essentially dull and colourless lives. Through their children, through reading or attending the theatre, however, they can experience all the emotions felt by others whose lives move along at a swift, exciting pace. These people live at second hand; they live vicariously.
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