Compassion Week is a joint initiative of the Tenzin Gyatso Institute, Stanford University’s CCARE, The Charter for Compassion, and Dignity Health, and it coming to San Francisco in a few weeks time.
It will include 5 days of events featuring conferences on The Science of Compassion and Compassion and Healthcare, and will a feature an all day event highlighting The Charter for Compassion.
Compassion Week brings together doctors, civic leaders, scholars, mindfulness practitioners, and society at large to address how holistically and economically practical an investment practicing compassion can be in all institutions and areas of living.
A baby’s preference to stare at an object, instead of a person's face, may predict a lack of guilt and empathy as well as difficulties understanding emotions during toddlerhood.
It is known that the deepest, most primitive parts of our minds process faces. It is also known that typically developing babies become sensitive to another person’s face and eyes almost immediately after birth.
In a new study, scientists find a baby’s preference to stare at an object, instead of a person's face, may predict a lack of guilt and empathy as well as difficulties understanding emotions during toddlerhood.
While a mother's warmth and attention might positively influence her child's later behavior, this may be true only of girl babies and not boys.
That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the Torah. The rest is commentary. Rabbi Hillel
The Golden Rule has been around a while. Some think it was first taught by Confucius. Yet, according to religious scholar and worldwide compassion ambassador Karen Armstrong, this core idea, that you must not do to others what you would not want done to you, is at the heart of all religions. And she thinks this unifying thread is the secret to saving our world, if only we'd remember to follow it. Of course, we want to raise compassionate kids, and there are tips and resources below. But we also must consider how we, the adults, are doing.
Are we compassionate only to our children, house plants and those who pay us well or smile back at us at the customer service counter?
Is compassion bigger than this?
Are we compassionate with our investments?
Is compassion something people must earn from us?
It's easy to get teary-eyed over pictures of starving children, but what about angry inmates?
What will it take for compassion to change the world?
A common belief is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and that our full potential is realized through the practices of love and empathy, and the Ubuntu philosophy.
And that’s true! But we can’t ever forget that we are also human too. We have simple biological and emotional needs – such as food, water, and a sense of safety - that must be met in order for our very survival, and although there are a handful of spiritual ‘leaders’ in history who were synonymous with fasting and poverty, for most of us, we can’t even begin to understand our potential for Self-actualization or Ascension until those basic needs are met.
This is one of my favorite things. A short video just shy of 11 minutes packed a big punch and changed my perspective on humanity. Jeremy Rifkin explores the evolution of empathy and offers up a compelling framework for thinking about solutions to some of the world’s most vexing problems.
Empathy is the capacity to share or recognize emotions experienced by another sentient or fictional being.
Empathy is the invisible hand. Empathy is what allows us to stretch our sensibility with another so that we can cohere in larger social units. To empathise is to civilise; to civilise is to empathise.
The brain, because of its complexity, is a vast organism with different regions key to the processing of reality and the execution of tasks. But in the brain’s neurofractal sea there is a particular type of neurons that demand more attention than others.
These are mirror neurons, those that may be responsible for cognitive processes as sophisticated as synesthesia, empathy, metaphorical language and even telepathy.
Mirror neurons were discovered in 1992 by a team of Italian researchers led by Giacomo Rizzolatti. They detected the existence of these neurons while studying the brain of a macaque monkey: while it was observing the execution of a task, the same neurons were triggered as while it was doing that same task. In other words, observation works as an internal simulation or a replica of other’s actions. Hence their name: mirror neurons.
Field trips to live theater enhance literary knowledge, tolerance and empathy among students, according to a study published this week by researchers in the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform.
The research published in Education Next examines the impact on students of attending high-quality theater productions of either Hamlet or A Christmas Carol.
The researchers found that viewing the productions leads to enhanced knowledge of the plot, increased vocabulary, greater tolerance and improved ability to read the emotions of others.
Two years ago, researchers found significant benefits in the form of knowledge, future cultural consumption, tolerance, historical empathy and critical thinking for students assigned by lottery to visit Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Arturo Bejar is trying to create empathy among teenage users to curb cyberbullying and harassment.
Creating empathy on Facebook has not been easy.
Researchers have learned that a few letters can have a profound impact. For example, in the first iteration of these tools, Facebook gave users a short list of vague emotions — like “embarrassing” — to communicate why they wanted a post removed. At the time, 50 percent of users seeking to delete a post would use the tool, but when Facebook added the word “it’s” to create a complete sentence (“It’s embarrassing”), the interaction shot up to 78 percent.
In the October issue of World Psychiatry, neuroscientists and UC Berkeley psychiatrist Jodi Halpern contribute a perspective on the need for increased research on the components of empathy, in order to develop interventions and programs designed to increase the levels of empathy in clinical practice.
According to the article, clinical empathy is increasingly being seen as an important element of quality health care, and has been associated with improved patient satisfaction, increased adherence to treatment, and fewer malpractice complaints.
As well, for doctors, higher levels of empathy have led to decreased burnout, personal distress, depression, and anxiety, along with increased life satisfaction and psychological well-being.
How do you deal with the inevitable conflicts in your life? In this online video retreat, Diane Musho Hamilton, Zen teacher and professional mediator, will guide you through getting past the tradtional fight-or-flight response and show you how to approach navigating conflict fearlessly and with innovation.
You'll be introducted to four basic steps to help you move creatively through disputes and discord, and you'll take away a set of practices that will help deepen and hone your conflict resolution skills.
On Empathy is entering its 7th week of events! For this weeks conversation we have decided to do things a little bit differently. We are going to keep an element of surprise, but the plan is to meet in
Empathy has so many benefits, both for our kids and for more effective parenting. For instance:
Children get along better with other kids because they can put themselves in their shoes.
Children learn to regulate their emotions, such as during meltdowns and when they’re over excited.
Children can separate other people’s emotions from theirs. For instance, a child may get upset when he sees another child cry. But with empathy, he learns that the other child is the one who really needs help.
Below are effective ways of teaching our kids to show empathy:
Empathy—the ability to perceive and share another person's emotional state—is the subject of this month’s Cerebrum article, “With A Little Help from My Friends: How the Brain Procand the latest on this aspect of social neuroscience is Peggy Mason, Ph.D., a professor of neurobiology at the University of Chicago and the author of Medical Neurobiology.
Mason, whose lab is currently interested in empathetic healing and helping behavior in rats, offers an open online course, “Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life,” through Coursera and held a lively discussion of empathy on Reddit recently.
As I wrote in this piece on journaling prompts for self-reflection and self-discovery, part of building a healthy relationship with ourselves is keeping an open and honest dialogue. It’s continually asking ourselves questions and welcoming the answers. It’s getting to know ourselves, at our core.
Another part of building a healthy relationship is cultivating self-compassion. But I know that for many of us this is hard. Really hard. Being kind feels foreign, and unnatural. Instead, after many years, our automatic reaction may be to bash, berate and bully ourselves.
Here’s a list of 25 questions to help you take small steps in being kinder to yourself.
How would I like to feel today?
What’s one small step I can take to cultivate this feeling?
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Ashoka Changemakers have announced the six winners of Building Vibrant Communities: Activating Empathy to Create Change! The challenge sought local initiatives that tap the power of empathy to strengthen communities and equip young people to become leaders of change. The competition received more than 200 entries from Northern California community organizations.
The winners were announced at the Packard Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Open House, during which winners and challenge finalists had the opportunity to share their ideas with local community members in attendance.
“So much exciting work to foster empathy is happening in our five-county region and neighboring communities,” said Carol Larson, President and CEO of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. “We are particularly encouraged by the six winning organizations which are actively cultivating empathy skills. It is their hope and ours that local communities will be strong and vibrant places where future generations can reach their full potential as community builders and problem solvers.”
Empathy is a crucial skill for creating social change,” said Bill Drayton, CEO and Founder of Ashoka. "By activating empathy in their communities, the winners of the challenge are paving the way for a world where everyone can become a changemaker and tackle the issues that matter to them most."
At the next Cultural Conversations gathering on October 28, the group will explore the topic of empathy as a personal expression that creates a safe space to build relationships and create community.
The meeting, titled "Empathy Across Culture," takes place 1- 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 28, at Crossroads Community Center, 16000 NE 10th St. Cultural Conversations is a women's group that meets approximately every six weeks. The group seeks to build community connections and cultural understanding.
Attendees will discuss whether there is a universal language of empathy and explore whether, or how, empathetic expression varies due to age, upbringing, history, race and ethnicity.
We also employed a measure known as the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), which captures the ability to infer what other people are thinking or feeling by looking at their eyes.
The test was developed by British psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues as a tool for studying theory of mind, particularly for people with autism.
It is now widely used by researchers interested in studying theory of mind and empathy for people developing typically, as well as for those with autism.
Researchers using RMET have found that reading literary fiction or engaging in theatrical role-playing enhances people’s ability to read the emotions of others. We suspected that watching live theater might have a similar effect and decided to include RMET in our survey.
The version of RMET we employed was developed for use with adolescents and has 28 photographs cropped to show only people’s eyes. Subjects are asked to pick one of four words that best describes what the photographed person is thinking or feeling.
True leaders in this fight – as in every fight – must demonstrate two active, essential and interrelated traits: expertise and empathy. That’s according to Lieutenant General William Pagonis, the director of logistics during the Gulf War, who’s written extensively about leadership in a combat zone.
“Owning the facts is a prerequisite to leadership. But there are millions of technocrats out there with lots of facts in their quivers and little leadership potential.
Our overall vision is to teach and show empathy, and cover difficult topics so little kids know that they are not alone,” Walker, who leads the group, said.
Multico has spread this message of empathy, tolerance and acceptance to Madison Metropolitan School District elementary, middle and high school students for the past 18 years. Under the guidance of Walker, the students write and direct sketches based upon their own childhood and adolescent experiences, especially those in the context of school.
Why do we have empathy? Why do we rush to another’s aid? Why do we put our arm around others to support them?
Empathy comes naturally to a great variety of animals, including humans.
In his work with monkeys, apes and elephants, anthropologist Dr. Frans de Waal has found many cases of one individual coming to another’s aid in a fight, putting an arm around a previous victim of attack, or other emotional responses to the distress of others. By studying social behavior in animals — such as bonding and alliances, expressions of consolation, conflict resolution, and a sense of fairness — de Waal demonstrates that animals and humans are preprogrammed to reach out, questioning the assumption that humans are inherently selfish.
It’s a valid question when 88 percent of social-media-using teens have witnessed cruelty online and research has repeatedly shown that many of today’s adolescents — who spend more than seven hours a day consuming media — struggle with the ability to recognize other people’s emotions. With children’s socialization increasingly moving into the digital realm, something is clearly getting lost in translation.
“There's a cost to this change in the way kids socialize, and that has to do with how empathy develops,” journalist Emily Bazelon