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Empathy and Compassion
The Empathy Movement Magazine: The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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Our lack of racial empathy is appalling

Our lack of racial empathy is appalling | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Dean Obeidallah says if we don't get past the knee jerking defensiveness when discussing race, we will likely be burying more Trayvons.

 

 The George Zimmerman trial has made one thing crystal clear. When racial issues arise, we tend to unquestionably cheer for our own race like it's a sporting match. There's little regard for the arguments or feelings of those from another race.

 

Is the racial empathy gap in America growing? It seems so. At least judging by the chatter of comments surrounding the trial.

I heard repeatedly the statement from some Zimmerman supporters -- including a radio show host on Monday morning who is far from being a racist -- that "94% of black murder victims were killed by other blacks."

 

So instead of being empathetic to the Martin family -- whose son Trayvon was killed by Zimmerman -- the words discounted the killing by essentially saying that black people kill each other so much so why should we care about this one black kid?

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Study: Emotional contagion and trait empathy in prosocial behavior in young people:

Study: Emotional contagion and trait empathy in prosocial behavior in young people: | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

The present research investigated first the facial feedback measured by EMG (electromyography) during decisions to engage in prosocial-helping behaviors and secondly the relation between this psychophysiological correlate and emotional empathy trait in young people. Thirty young subjects were invited to choose to adopt or not a prosocial behavior in response to social interactions. An increased zygomatic and corrugator muscle activity was found in response to prosocial interventions.

 

Moreover, a significant positive correlation was found between empathic profile and the EMG modulation. These results highlight the role of emotions and empathy in prosocial behavior, induced by an “emotional contagion effect.”

Authors: Balconi M, Canavesio Y

image http://bit.ly/rYTr9k

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Got Empathy - The Foundations of Empathy

Got Empathy - The Foundations of Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

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 -

 

Thea Blair

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Welcome to Spiritual Oasis: The Gift of Empathy

Welcome to Spiritual Oasis: The Gift of Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

I believe that Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mohammed, and all the other great spiritual masters throughout time were the greatest teachers of empathy.  Empathy is the key to unconditional love.   Henry David Thoreau said, “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”  To do so is to touch their soul.  And when you develop your powers of empathy, you’d be surprised at how much the world opens up to you.  You realize our souls are here playing a role in this great stage play called life and we’re all connected.  When people can be empathic, humanity prevails.

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The wealthy's compassion deficit

The wealthy's compassion deficit | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
We know that wealth does not always make people happy, but does it make them kinder? Studies suggest exactly the opposite.

 

A large body of research point to a compassion deficit in the rich that plays out in big and small ways. As reported in Scientific American, for example, drivers of luxury cars cut others off at intersections at a much higher rate than those driving economy cars. Other studies have found that the wealthy are more likely to lie in negotiations and less likely to agree with statements such as "I often notice people who need help." And during simulations in which participants could divide up candy, giving some to children and keeping some for themselves, wealthier participants consistently kept more for themselves and gave less to children.


By David Wolpe

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Change Our Story: How Do We Turn Judgment into Empathy?

Change Our Story: How Do We Turn Judgment into Empathy? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
I believe that when we can base our actions on empathic responses to what we feel -- as opposed to judgments that we make -- our entire perspective will shift.

 

Judgment: the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind. 

Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.


Peter Buffett


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Teach Your Child Empathy

Teach Your Child Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Author Homa Tavangar offers up her advice on the subject of teaching empathy to students saying, "My most important back-to-school supply doesn't fit in a backpack, and it can't be ordered online. It's as essential as a pencil, but unlike a pencil, no technology can replace it.

 

In a sense, like a fresh box of crayons, it can come in many colors. Better than the latest gadget, it's possible to equip every student with it, and even better, when we do, it can transform our world."

 

It's actually a "muscle" I've been working on all summer. It's empathy.

 By Homa Tavangar 

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Empathy | openDemocracy

Empathy | openDemocracy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings and perspectives of others, and to use that understanding to guide one’s actions. It has been touted as a solution to economic, social and political problems, and as the source of radical change in schools and other institutions. But is empathy something revolutionary or just another passing fad? This series of articles interrogates these questions from a variety of perspectives.


Roots of empathy: an interview with Mary Gordon http://j.mp/156i5Ag
LENNON FLOWERS 5 September 2013
Empathy is central to education for democracy, and it can be “caught not taught” among children in schools.


Forget empathy – it’s time for radical connection http://j.mp/156iaDU
KRISTEN ZIMMERMAN 4 September 2013
In the struggle for social justice it’s not how much empathy we feel that makes the difference, but what we do with it in concrete situations.

 

Compassionate economics http://j.mp/156ibb3
MAX ZAHN 3 September 2013
What kind of economics could facilitate the liberation of all human beings? A new middle path can transform our relationship to individual and collective suffering.

 

Introducing empathy http://j.mp/156ieUi

MICHAEL ZAKARAS LENNON FLOWERS 2 September 2013
Is the “empathy revolution” just a passing fad or the key to peace and social justice? This is the first in a week-long series of articles on empathy and transformation.

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Teaching Empathy in the PreK-20 Classroom

Teaching Empathy in the PreK-20 Classroom | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

So one night I was up late, popping almonds like popcorn and watching the latest Netflix series, contemplating this teaching challenge. How do we “teach” empathy? I decided to turn to the pros: many of the amazing teacher experts that I know across the US (State Teachers of the Year, National Board Certified Teachers, and teachers from the Center for Teaching Quality Collaboratory).


Below is a list of some of the great texts suggested by these experts for teaching and building empathy with our students, focusing on our English Language Learners. 

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, suggested by Jane Fung. Faye Cook, and Bill IveyWonder by R.J. Palacio, suggested by Jessica CuthbertsonOut of My Mind by Sharon Draper, suggested by Faye CookBlood on the River by Elisa Carbone, suggested by Cheryl Suliteanu

...

 by Megan Allen  

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Maya Soetoro-Ng On The Physiological Response to Empathy

Maya Soetoro-Ng On The Physiological Response to Empathy
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Hospital Impact - Sow the seeds of empathy to improve patient experience

Hospital Impact - Sow the seeds of empathy to improve patient experience | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

What do organizations do with the takers and matchers who remain after promoting givers? Leading edge researchand years (decades even) of evidence show the seeds of empathy can be cultivated. Organizations can develop the empathic capacity of takers and matchers.

 

Specifically, as Ford's thinking suggests, help improve communication, increase the frequency and quality of the human connections between caregivers and patients and foster the ability of caregivers "to see through the eyes of others."

 

Programs like Massachusetts General's Empathy and Relational Science Program, University of Rochester Medical Center's Mindful Practice Curriculum and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Patient and Family Centered Care Methodology and Practice are only a few of the excellent resources available to help improve caregiver empathy, presence and the ability to "see through the eyes of others."

 

by Doug Della Pietra

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Introducing empathy

Introducing empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

More than twenty years ago, scientists made a breakthrough that altered our understanding of human behavior in fundamental ways: they discovered empathy. While observing a group of monkeys, they noticed that certain brain cells were activated both when one member of the group grabbed a peanut and when he or she watched others do the same. Later found to exist in human beings, these “mirror neurons” explain why we wince when we see someone fall off a bike or stub a toe.

 

The discovery of mirror neurons has challenged our understanding of everything from language and philosophy to psychotherapy. According to neuroscientistVilayanur Ramachandran, they are the source of the first forays by human beings into complex social behavior, and thereby form “the basis of civilization.”

 

Today, empathy seems to be everywhere.

 

Michael Zakaras and  Lennon Flowers 

 

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Judith Edersheim discusses "American Violence: The Absence of Empathy?"

Part of "Empathy: The Development and Disintegration of Human Connection" 
A symposium sponsored by the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior
January 17, 2013 | Bornstein Amphitheater | Brigham & Women's Hospital

 

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Judith Edersheim, JD, MD is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard
Medical School, a senior consultant to the Law and Psychiatry Service at
Massachusetts General Hospital, and Co-Director of the Center for Law, Brain
and Behavior.

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Mary Meduna, PhD's curator insight, September 4, 2013 12:17 PM

Its a big topic and a short video. But it is interesting to challenge some assumptions that seem prevelant regarding violence and empathy.

 

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Seacrh on Empathy | Beyond Intractability

Seacrh on Empathy | Beyond Intractability | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Search on Empathy - Many Articles.

Beyond Intractability was developed and is still maintained by the University of Colorado Conflict Information Consortium. The missions of the Consortium and, more specifically, the Beyond Intractability project reflect the convergence of two long-standing streams of work. The first is an exploitation of the unique abilities of Web-based information systems to speed the flow of conflict-related information among those working in the field and the general public.

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Empathy and Addiction: A Quest for Connection - the addiction complex

Empathy and Addiction: A Quest for Connection - the addiction complex | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

How is the individual to embrace an empathetic approach towards an individualized occurrence of addiction? Just as there are a variety of ways in how one might define empathy, there too is both a complex and chaotic understanding of addiction. Addiction is an emotionally charged experience for the world as a whole, which includes the individual as well. Our understanding of addiction, our emotional biases, our understanding of its existence, etc., provides a variety of interpretations that inevitably are discerned by the individual’s perceptual lens.

 

Empathy is a term from which the meaning has broadened to a point of uncertainty. For clarity, McWilliams (1994) reminds us of the importance of empathy. When discussing addiction empathy is profound, where the other does not sympathize with, but unites in feeling with the individual. McWilliams stated

 

by Erik J. Welsh, PhD

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Compassion over empathy could help prevent emotional burnout (Wired UK)

Compassion over empathy could help prevent emotional burnout (Wired UK) | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Training people to be compassionate rather than empathic might help to solve problems such as depression, burnout and narcissism, according to Tania Singer at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences.

 

Singer is an expert in social neuroscience and investigates the neuronal, hormonal and developmental foundations of human social cognition, including emotions such as empathy, compassion, envy and fairness. by OLIVIA SOLON 

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Self-Compassion, Part III: Growing Tenderheartedness

Self-Compassion, Part III: Growing Tenderheartedness | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Do you treat yourself gently? Do you acknowledge the sources of distress in your life? Learn self-compassion and begin to heal.

 

This article is the third in a series that aims to look at the concept and development of self-compassion. We’ve defined compassion as a tenderhearted recognition of pain or distress, coupled with a desire to alleviate it. The first article looked at the concept of compassion as a whole while the second explored growing compassion through recognizing limits. This article will look at the first part of our definition of compassion: having tenderheartedness toward your distress.

 

The type of tenderheartedness that is integral to compassion is more than a soft emotion: it is a relational stance. It is easy to forget about and neglect the relationships we have with ourselves, all too often ignoring this relationship or bullying ourselves. For example, many survivors of trauma will repeat the words an abusive individual once hurled at them, and in turn will develop an abusive relationship with themselves. Self-compassion stands in opposition to this and offers a gentler way to interact with yourself.

 

by Susanne M. Dillmann, PsyD

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My Empathy Circle with a Narcissistic Psychopath. Success! It worked to Foster Empathic Listening!

My Empathy Circle with a Narcissistic Psychopath. Success! It worked to Foster Empathic Listening! | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

 I've been developing an Empathy Circle process that is based on the empathic listening work of Carl Rogers. I've held hundreds of these small group empathic conversations that are the best process I've found for nurturing and practicing empathy. I've been wondering how this process would work with Narcissists and Psychopaths.  I lined up an Empathy Circle with Sam Vaknin, who is diagnosed as a narcissist with psychopathic tendencies.

 

Sam has written books and articles on psychopathy and has become a 'go to guy' for the media when they want to talk with a narcissist or psychopath.  There was even a documentary done on Sam called 'I Psychopath'.  You can view the documentary online on Youtube. At the end of the documentary, the director who travels with Sam to different pathology research centers in Europe, is an emotional wreak from his interactions with Sam.

 

Sam and I held a 1.5 hour empathy circle using the empathic listening process. I found the process actually worked very well. Sam was skeptical when we started, but at the end came to new realizations about the power of empathic listening.  Sam is used to conversation as a competition, where he has to find the chinks in  the other persons armor to break through to manipulate them. However, in this conversation everything he said was empathized with by me and vice a versa. ....

 

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Founder’s confession: How I lost and rediscovered empathy along the startup path | 4.0 Schools Blog

Founder’s confession: How I lost and rediscovered empathy along the startup path | 4.0 Schools Blog | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

But surely SOCIAL entrepreneurs are empathetic?

While social entrepreneurs like Ashoka’s Bill Drayton or Oxford Business School’s Pamela Hartigan are quite right that you cannot be truly profitable if you are not wired for empathy, this does not mean that it’s not hard.  It’s not just technology and social media that’s to blame. Based on my own experience, there is something that happens from that “road to Damascus moment” (essential to the foundational tales of many social entrepreneurs from Jacqueline Novogratz’s moment of finding a boy in Africa wearing her old blue sweater to John Woods discovering the need for libraries in the Himalayas) in which a stubborn, passionate person is confronted with the immediate and direct experience of an obstacle that they are determined to remove, come hell or high water. 

 

But now as people strive to create the most social change and demonstrate the data of their impact, does something still get lost? One of our queen word smiths, Monika Smyczek, asked over a late-night “Launchathon” (our own version of hackathons where we dissected and championed one another’s businesses) the key question that anyone must ask as they try to retain empathy in the DNA of an organization: “How do you scale Gandhi?”

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David Hain's curator insight, September 7, 2013 4:30 AM

How do you scale Gandhi???  Great question...

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Forget empathy – it’s time for radical connection | openDemocracy

Forget empathy – it’s time for radical connection | openDemocracy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

In that moment I cringed, and not just because we shared the same name. I began to see something clearly that I had struggled with before. This kind of personification – so emotionally powerful, tempting and cathartic - leads us away from a focus on the culture, structures and processes of racism that the Zimmerman case represents.  And that's also the problem with empathy.

 

While it's important to honor the humanity of those whose actions cause great harm, “developing more empathy” is never enough to confront injustice and discrimination. It’s not how much empathy we feel in general terms that really makes the difference, but what we do with the empathy we feel and how we do it in concrete situations.  

 

KRISTEN ZIMMERMAN

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Empathy: The Foundation of Moral Design

Empathy: The Foundation of Moral Design | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Seth Godin delivers a hilarious critique of poor design in this 2006 talk titled 'This is Broken." 

 

Empathy is also one of the foundational pillars of morality, because moral issues only exist in the context of relationships.  Moral issues arise only because our actions have consequences for others,  When we consider these consequences in our own behavior, and consider the extent to which we might put our own well-being at risk for the sake of others, then we are thinking morally.  To understand those consequences, moral thinking requires us to be able to imagine them from the perspective of the person that will experience them.  Godin seems to be suggesting that every design constructs a relationship with the user, and where the designer imposes costs or hardships on the user (especially without the consent of the user!), then the design is immoral — and therefore subject to ridicule. 

Thomas P Seager
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How to Teach Kids Empathy Through Technology

How to Teach Kids Empathy Through Technology | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Whether your youngster is taking toys and making kids cry at the playground or he has a difficult time understanding feelings, you can help him better understand others' emotions and his own. Empathy can develop over time with your consistent example and guidance. Start teaching your child about empathy early by becoming his empathy role model and then employ the use of the technology in your home to help him develop his skill, learn to view circumstances from another's perspective and respond compassionately.

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Teaching Empathy in Medical School

Teaching Empathy in Medical School | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Some institutions have begun to offer empathy training for their clinicians. At Weill Cornell, we have a number of initiatives that aim to cultivate empathy and humanistic values in our students. Last year, we launched an innovative pilot program that will eventually give students the opportunity to follow one or more patients over the course of their entire four years of medical school. Currently, one first-year and one second-year student are paired together under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

 

Students build relationships with patients by attending doctor's appointments with them, contacting them regularly, and conducting an annual home visit to understand how their diseases impact their daily lives. Students are asked to keep a reflective journal about their experiences, and they participate in monthly mentoring sessions where they discuss psychosocial issues relevant to their patients. A major goal of the program is to prepare students to deliver empathetic, socially, and ethically responsible care by providing them with exposure to patients from the very beginning of their training.

 

Antonio M. Gotto, Jr., MD, 
Laurie H. Glimcher, MD

 

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The Empathy Economy: Design Skills and Business Skills Are Converging

The Empathy Economy: Design Skills and Business Skills Are Converging | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Quality-management programs can’t give you the kind of empathetic connection to consumers that increasingly is the key to opening up new business opportunities. All the B-school-educated managers you hire won’t automatically get you the outside-the-box thinking you need to build new brands — or create new experiences for old brands. The truth is we’re moving from a knowledge economy that was dominated by technology into an experience economy controlled by consumers and the corporations who empathize with them....

 

Understanding, empathy, problem-solving — these are the heuristic managerial skills needed today, argues Martin, who advises Procter & Gamble ..

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Daniel Pink argues that left-brain linear, analytical, and computer-like thinking are being replaced by right-brain empathy, inventiveness, and understanding as skills most needed by business...

 

by By Bruce Nussbaum

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Alice Flaherty discusses "A Neurologist's View of Empathy?"

Part of "Empathy: The Development and Disintegration of Human Connection" 
A symposium sponsored by the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior
January 17, 2013 | Bornstein Amphitheater | Brigham & Women's Hospital

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Alice Flaherty, MD, PhD, is a joint associate professor of both neurology and psychiatry
at HMS. Her practice is at MGH.

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