While definitions of empathy vary considerably, the need for mutual understanding between human beings has never been higher. The ability to take the perspective of another and to use this information to act compassionately is a high point in human development. Are we born with this capacity or is it something learned? The simple answer: both. Following the classic storyline of the hero’s journey, we are given a gift, we lose it, and we engage in the adventure of getting it back.
It is a principle in Waldorf education that we don’t simply identify an issue and hammer away on it; we paint the broadest picture possible and work with the factors that support and develop the issue -