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Empathy and Compassion
The latest news about empathy and compassion from around the world - CultureOfEmpathy.com
Curated by Edwin Rutsch
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Empathy Notes #3: Empathy versus rationality?

Empathy Notes #3: Empathy versus rationality? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Several weeks ago my good friend Miki Kashtan sent me two articles  - ”The Baby in the Well” by Paul Bloom and ”The Case Against Empathy” by David Harris-Gershon – that critically compare empathy with reason. 

 

These two essays maintain that empathy causes us to focus on the narrow needs of visibly suffering individuals – especially those who are like us or whom we know and love. This focus distracts us from broader or invisible suffering – and from the systemic causes of suffering – for which changes in policy, systems, culture, etc., are called for rather than our personal kindness and help. Therefore, suggest the essayists Paul Bloom and David Harris-Gershon, reason is a more dependable guide to our moral responses than empathy.

Tom Atlee 

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It turns out empathy can be taught: 5 tips to improve business leaders' emotional intelligence

It turns out empathy can be taught: 5 tips to improve business leaders' emotional intelligence | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Organizational psychologist Craig Dowden shares five tips garnered from recent medical research that can help executives become more effective business leaders.    by Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins 

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Hermano Miller's curator insight, August 4, 2013 4:54 PM

For a audible source on emotional intelligence

 

http://amzn.to/183pVJL

 

Clickable Compass

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Our lack of racial empathy is appalling

Our lack of racial empathy is appalling | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

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

 

Dean Obeidallah says if we don't get past the knee jerking defensiveness when discussing race, we will likely be burying more Trayvons.

 

And when I say we lack racial empathy, I'm not talking about feeling sorry for a race because of their "plight." I mean true empathy -- "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another."

 

Racial empathy means being able to honestly contemplate what it would be like to be a member of a different race.

 

Psychologists have noted that this type of empathy fosters conflict resolution. Opening yourself to understanding why the other side believes what it does can help you find common ground.

 

By Dean Obeidallah, Special to CNN

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Post-Workshop Panel on "Making as Empathic Conversation"

Sponsored by the Creative Art Council at Brown University, students and instructors involved in the 2-day workshop on "Making as Empathic Conversation" came together to reflect on the workshop.

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5 Points for Your Empathy Arsenal

5 Points for Your Empathy Arsenal | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
The arguments you need to explain why empathy is a key to life-long learning.

 

Look no further than the role of empathy in human-centered design, in conflict resolution, in the boardroom---yes, even in the preservation of earth (don’t take our word for it)---and you’ll realize that empathy matters for reasons beyond the fact that learning outcomes improve (though they do: read on). In fact, we’re dedicating an entire site to helping make that case, and to equipping parents, teachers, and everyone in between with the tools they need to practice. But we value what we measure, and when it comes to holding ourselves accountable to educational outcomes, that’s a good thing.


Chances are you don’t have hours and hours to pore through every successive study on the ways in which empathy impacts a teacher’s ability to teach, a student’s ability to learn, and the ability of both to thrive in a rapidly changing world. So we’ve put together a cheat sheet to help you make the case, whether you’re a teacher urging your principal to prioritize play, or a parent deciding what kind of education you really want for your child.


By Lennon Flowers

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Global Empathy Experiment: Are we scientifically wired for Empathy?

Global Empathy Experiment: Are we scientifically wired for Empathy? | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Every year, the third year Viral Advertising Communications students at the IDC (Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel) need to present a project. This year’s brief was Humanitarian Aid & Development.

 

In order to crack the brief, the research and creative brainstorming on the subject struck on many angles, but the students wanted to dig in deeper, to understand the real human motivator for humanitarian acts of compassion. For this they sought Science and discovered the wealth of research that has been published in recent years on Empathy — especially since the accidental discovery of mirror neurons in a laboratory in Parma, Italy, in the early 90s. 

By Gil Lavie

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Is Empathy in Clinical Practice Possible? (October 20, 2010) Jane Macnaughton

Jane Macnaughton, M.B.Ch.B., Ph. D. (Professor of Medical Humanities and Co-Director, Centre for Medical Humanities, and Deputy Head, School of Medicine and Health, Durham, Durham, United Kingdom) explored the efficacy and potential dangers of utilizing empathy in clinical practice. Dr. Macnaughton traced the understanding and use of empathy, person-centered therapy, and the dialogic principle ("I and Thou") via the writings of Carl Rodgers and Martin Buber.

 

She also illustrated the experience of provoked empathy or imaginative insight by fiction writers such as Sally Vickers ("The Other Side of You") and Sylvia Plath ("The Bell Jar"). Margaret E. Mohrmann, M.D., Ph. D. (Kornfeld Professor of Biomedical Ethics and Director, Programs in Biomedical Ethics, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Humanities, University of Virginia), supported Dr. Macnaughton's concerns regarding empathy and highlighted other aspects such as a moral imperative, the imperialism of empathy, and the presumptuousness of empathy.

 

Dr. Morhmann emphasized the importance of connecting with patients via questions and the basic values of attentiveness, concern, care, responsibility, and creating trusting relationships.

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What our Brain Tells Us About Our Ability to Empathize

What our Brain Tells Us About Our Ability to Empathize | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
You're hard-wired for empathy, whether you like it or not.

More than two decades ago now, scientists made a discovery that fundamentally altered our understanding of empathy. While observing monkeys, they noticed that certain brain cells activated both when a monkey performed an action and when that monkey watched another monkey perform the same action.

It’s a scenario we’ve all probably experienced before: If we’ve seen someone stub her toe, or cut her finger, or fall off a bike, and winced because we could feel the pain ourselves. That wincing – that unconscious reaction – is caused by “mirror neurons” firing in our brains. And these same neurons fire whether the action happens to us or to someone we’re watching. By Michael Zakaras

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John Michel's curator insight, July 15, 2013 9:19 AM

More than two decades ago now, scientists made a discovery that fundamentally altered our understanding of empathy. While observing monkeys, they noticed that certain brain cells activated both when a monkey performed an action and when that monkey watched another monkey perform the same action.

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SPIEGEL: die Macht des Mitgefühls - The Power of Compassion -  Neuroscientists Research the Secrets of Empathy

SPIEGEL: die Macht des Mitgefühls - The Power of Compassion -  Neuroscientists Research the Secrets of Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Hirnforscher erkunden das Geheimnis der Empathie -   Neuroscientist Research the Secrets of Empathy

 

Das Mitgefühl wird oft unterschätzt: eine liebenswerte, leicht sentimentale Schwäche. Die Forschung weiß es heute besser. Neue Studien zeigen, wie tief die Fähigkeit, am Erleben anderer Menschen teilzunehmen, in unserem Gehirn verankert ist - eine entscheidende Voraussetzung, wie es scheint, sogar für das Entstehen von Sprache und Bewusstsein. Für unsere Titelgeschichte besuchte mein Kollege Manfred Dworschak vom SPIEGEL-Wissenschaftsressort den Hirnforscher Christian Keysers in seinem Amsterdamer Labor.

 

Keysers ergründet dort die speziellen Neuronen, die das Gehirn zu einem sozialen Organ machen - teilweise mit ungewöhnlichen Methoden: Über Jahre hinweg schob Keysers immer wieder Psychopathen in den Hirnscanner; er wollte wissen, warum diese scheinbar gefühllosen Gewalttäter zugleich oft auch Meister der Einfühlung und der Manipulation sind, wenn es ihnen nützt. "Die neuen Befunde der Hirnforschung", sagt Dworschak, "dürften unser Menschenbild gründlich verändern."

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Social interaction and the role of empathy in information and knowledge management: A literature review

Social interaction and the role of empathy in information and knowledge management: A literature review | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

This article provides a general review of the literature on the nature and role of empathyin social interaction for information professionals working in a variety of informationand knowledge environments. Relational agency theory (Edwards, 2005) is used asa framework to re-conceptualize education for empathic social interaction betweeninformation professionals and their clients. Past, present and future issues relevant toempathic interaction in information and knowledge management are discussed inthe context of three shifts identified from the literature:

(a) the continued increase incommunication channels, both physical and virtual, for reference, information and re-search services,

(b) the transition from the information age to the conceptual age and

(c) the growing need for understanding of the affective paradigm in the informationand knowledge professions. 


Faye Miller and Jake Wallis

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Dan Kirsch's curator insight, July 14, 2013 7:16 AM

Studies identified "empathy as the main trustenabler to facilitate communication within the knowledge network."


Social empathy as a means to build collaborative relationships, promote social inclusion, stimulate creativity, and manage tacit knowledge to build social capital.

Mindy M Walker's curator insight, July 18, 2013 1:00 PM

Empathy - can't be stressed enough. Key to leadership, understanding others, finding appropriate solutions...

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5 Ways to Make It Easier for Men to Channel Empathy and Compassion

5 Ways to Make It Easier for Men to Channel Empathy and Compassion | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Boys and men commit the vast majority of violent acts, from domestic violence to murder. We've got to get at the root causes.

 

That’s what I realize on the last class of the  Cultivating Compassion Training (CCT) course at Stanford University. We’ve spent  nine weeks strengthening our attention, building awareness of our bodies, and learning to confront pain in ourselves and in others—and throughout the course, male students were dropping out like 12th-seeded teams in the NCAA basketball tournament.

 

This gender imbalance was not unique to Stanford’s CCT. Two-thirds of students at the  Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California, are female, according to teacher Gil Fronsdal, an ordained Soto Zen priest who was also a Theravada monk in Burma. Elad Levinson, the director of programs at  Spirit Rock Mediation Center, says, “The sociodemographic of Spirit Rock consists of primarily women.”

 

By Kozo Hattor5 Ways to Make 
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Let’s Make a Habit of Empathy

Let’s Make a Habit of Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

How simple day-to-day practices can shape an empathetic lifestyle to create change in schools and the environment.

 

Like most routines, empathetic habits are a result of practice.  In order to form strong habits, we need to practice a routine and societal support to sustain that practice.   Ideally, parents, teachers, and youth group leaders all encourage children and youth in this practice.  For schools this means providing an environment that supports teachers, engages children and youth, and involves parents. Bridging this nexus is challenging, but not insurmountable, as adults can implement simple, awareness and journaling strategies to help young people form and internalize these habits in their daily lives. 

 

By Lesa Walker

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Empathy: The Missing Link to Solving the World's Most Pressing Problems

Empathy: The Missing Link to Solving the World's Most Pressing Problems | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

But never has empathy been so important. We live in an unprecedented era of accelerated and unpredictable change. I completely agree with Rifkin that "the empathic evolution of the human race and the profound ways it has shaped our development... will likely decide our fate as a species."

 

I wonder whether I can single out the development of empathy as the most important issue that underscores all other issues in the World Economic Forum's Survey on the Global Agenda? I would love to hear global leaders discuss that topic! And now, how to reframe my assignment to my Columbia MBAs?

Pamela Hartigan

Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Saїd Business School, University of Oxford

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Scott Span, MSOD's curator insight, July 11, 2013 1:47 PM

Underestimated.

ThinDifference's curator insight, July 12, 2013 9:25 AM

"Empathy conjures up active engagement -- the willingness of an observer to become part of another's experience, to share the feeling of that experience."

God Is.'s curator insight, July 13, 2013 11:16 AM

What would Jesus do?

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Empathy - teachapedia

Empathy - teachapedia | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy1 What is empathy?


 2 Related Articles


 3 Common Core Standards


 4 How to teach it?


4.1 Assessments

 

4.2 Classroom activities

 

4.3 Graphic organizers and sentence frames

 

4.4 Handouts and worksheets

 

4.5 Slideshows, videos and music

 

4.6 Interactive resources


 5 Product reviews


 6 Helpful links

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What To Do With Empathy

What To Do With Empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Paul Bloom’s recent New Yorker essay, “The Baby in the Well,” has created a small internet stir by calling out the many vices rather than the oft heralded virtues of empathy—a major academic and self-help trend. Bloom’s basic criticism can be summed as follows: empathy distracts us from what really matters since it requires feeling or relating to the situation of others to necessitate social/political action; such feelings are typically directed at concerns of relative insignificance when compared to situations of dire importance that fail to engender much empathy. Hence Bloom’s point that empathy justified the millions of dollars in charitable donations given to the relatively affluent community of Sandy Hook, despite the fact that almost twenty million American children go to bed hungry each night.

by Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins 

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Fox News - Tavis Smiley: America Doesn't Feel Same Empathy for Trayvon Martin as for Sandy Hook Children

Fox News - Tavis Smiley: America Doesn't Feel Same Empathy for Trayvon Martin as for Sandy Hook Children | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

Smiley responded to O’Reilly’s comments, saying that in the United States, the life of a black child doesn’t hold the same value of that of a white child.


“When Sandy Hook happened, the empathy and the appreciation and the reveling in the humanity of those children was present all over Fox News and every place else – as it should have been.


African Americans are not seeing that same kind of empathy and appreciation for the humanity of Trayvon that they saw for the children of Sandy Hook.”

 

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Developing Empathy in the Art Room | The Art of Ed

Developing Empathy in the Art Room | The Art of Ed | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

A 2009 study Within Connections: Empathy, Mirror Neurons and Art Education by Carol S. Jeffers reminds us that the art room might just be the perfect environment for teaching empathy.  In her article, Jeffers discusses the experiences students have when identifying with and creating different works of art. Artistic exploration helps a student to identify his or her “self” while figuring out his or her place in the community and the world. Thanks to what are called mirror neurons, a student can experience empathy just by sharing artwork or experiences, even if he or she is not the creator of the piece. This puts a whole new spin on the importance of student reflections, class critiques and artist statements!


Jessica Balsley, Founder of  The Art of Education

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Feel and Grow Rich: 5 Ways to Learn Empathy - Let's Grow Leaders

Feel and Grow Rich: 5 Ways to Learn Empathy - Let's Grow Leaders | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
 The struggle of my life created empathy - I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me. Oprah Winfrey Great leaders are empathetic.  

 

Great leaders are empathetic.  Tomorrows jobs will require even more empathy.  Forbes writer, George Anders calls it the The Number 1 job skill in 2020 and The Soft Skill that Pays 100K +.  So go get great at empathy.  You’ll be a better leader, and make more money.  Wait, how do you do that?  There’s growing evidence empathy can be learned.

 5 Ways to Get Better at Empathy

1.  Experience pain....

2. Collect and reflect: ....

3. Suspend judgement:....

4. Work on related EQ Skills.....

5. Practice  ....


Karin Hurt 

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John Michel's curator insight, July 15, 2013 6:44 PM

Great leaders are empathetic.  Tomorrows jobs will require even more empathy.  Forbes writer, George Anders calls it the The Number 1 job skill in 2020 and The Soft Skill that Pays 100K +.  So go get great at empathy.  You’ll be a better leader, and make more money.  Wait, how do you do that?  There’s growing evidence empathy can be learned.

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The Benefits of Emotional Intelligence and Empathy to Entrepreneurship

The Benefits of Emotional Intelligence and Empathy to Entrepreneurship | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

This paper reviews the literature on emotional intelligence/competencies and relates it to entrepreneurship. Emotional intelligence/competencies are positively related to job performance, leadership, and physical and mental health. This paper also reviews the research on another emotion-related trait, empathy. Empathy is related to leadership emergence and effectiveness, and empathic leaders have followers who experience less stress and physical symptoms. This paper generates nine propositions that relate emotional intelligence/competencies and empathy to entrepreneurship.

 

Entrepreneurs high on emotional intelligence/competencies will

 

(1) be more emotionally resilient when facing obstacles,

 

(2) be more successful at handling intense emotions when working with family members, and

 

(3) they will work more effectively with their employees, customers, and other stakeholders and they will be rated higher on leadership by their employees. High emotional intelligence will give entrepreneurs

 

(4) an advantage in developing new products and services, and

 

(5) in negotiating with financial backers, vendors and suppliers, distributors and retailers, and with their employees. Entrepreneurs high on empathy will be more successful at

 

(6) motivating and leading their employees, and

 

(7) helping their employees cope with workplace stresses. They will be

 

(8) more attuned to their customers’ wants and have higher customer satisfaction, and

 

(9) be more innovative.

 

Ronald H. Humphrey

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The dangerous practice of empathy . By Jane Macnaughton

The dangerous practice of empathy . By Jane Macnaughton | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

I have suggested that true empathy derives from an experience of intersubjectivity and this cannot be achieved in the doctor—patient relationship. But all is not lost. Doctors do not need to feel the distress of their patients themselves to do something about it. We may have a momentary mirroring of that patient's feeling within us, but what we maintain is sympathy (feeling for not with the patient) and the need to respond. It is potentially dangerous and certainly unrealistic to suggest that we can really feel what someone else is feeling. It is dangerous because, outside the literary context, where we are allowed direct experience of what a fictional patient is feeling, we cannot gain direct access to what is going on in our patient's head.


As Stein says, only “their presence is directly given”—so our assumptions may be wrong and our response may be based on a false assumption. Any mirroring of feeling will always differ quantitatively and qualitatively from that patient's experience. A doctor who responds to a patient's distress with “I understand how you feel” is likely, therefore, to be both resented by the patient and self-deceiving. 

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How Compassion Can Heal Shame from Childhood

How Compassion Can Heal Shame from Childhood | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

The Antidote to Shame - How Do You Heal Shame?

 

Fortunately, there is a way of healing even our most painful shaming experiences. The answer—compassion. Compassion is the antidote to shame. As it is with most poisons, the toxicity of shame needs to be neutralized by another substance if we are truly going to save the patient. Compassion is the only thing that can neutralize shame.

 

In the past few years, many people have taken an increased interest in the subject of compassion. This is no doubt at least partially due to a number of recent studies that have revealed surprising results concerning compassion. Researchers have found that from the day we are born to the day we die, the kindness, support, encouragement and compassion of others has a huge impact on how our brains, bodies and general sense of well-being develop. Love and kindness, especially in early life, even affect how some of our genesare expressed.

 

by Beverly Engel

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Self-Compassion Step by Step - Kristin Neff

Self-Compassion Step by Step - Kristin Neff | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it

A Six-Session Training Course for Transforming Your Relationship with Yourself

6.5 CE credits available!

Why does it feel so natural to be compassionate and kind to those we care about—yet so hard to treat ourselves the same way? "Our culture teaches us to use self-criticism for motivation and to build self-esteem by constantly measuring ourselves against everyone else," says Dr. Kristin Neff. "We need to re-learn the essential skill of being genuinely nurturing and supportive toward ourselves." With Self-Compassion Step by Step, this groundbreaking researcher reveals the clinically proven power of self-kindness, with practical training for cultivating an enduring and unshakable sense of your fundamental human worthiness.

 

Self-Compassion: The Mainstay of Happiness and Well-Being

 

Course objectives:

Define self-compassion as a practice to increase happiness, optimism, and curiosity in our lives, while decreasing anxiety, depression, and stress.

 

Discuss how self-compassion motivates with love—providing clear vision and nurturance needed to reach our full potential

 

Discuss how to turn toward our emotions withcuriosity, openness, and non-judgement to counter the Default Mode Network.


Define empathy, self-esteem, loving kindness, and equanimity as related to compassion for ourselves, our loved ones, and all beings.

 

Practice and utilize guided meditations and experiential exercises in mindfulness meditation, loving kindness, interconnectedness, and working with difficult emotions as a way to embrace our lives and cultivate kindness toward ourselves.

 

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Don Karp's curator insight, August 16, 2013 11:05 PM

I'd never realized the relationship of self-confidence to self-compassion. In fact I'd never considered the concept ot self-compassion. This is good!

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NPR: Springsteen Speaks: The Music of Pete Seeger - a tremendous act of empathy

NPR: Springsteen Speaks: The Music of Pete Seeger  -  a tremendous act of empathy | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Bruce Springsteen reinterprets the songbook of American folk legend Pete Seeger on his album We Shall Overcome. He talks about Seeger's music, the creative process and the importance of an adventurous audience.

 

BLOCK: When Pete Seeger did these songs he was steeped in this music, and it was bound up with all of the causes that he was so deeply involved with. So if he was singing We Shall Overcome he'd be at a civil rights rally, or I bet if he was at a union rally he be singing Pay Me My Money Down. I wondered if you wrestled with authenticity here, and did this feel like putting on somebody else's clothing in a way?

 

Mr. SPRINGSTEEN: Well you're always doing that. Your job is putting on somebody else's clothes. You know, that's sort of, the act of making music and making art is, a very large part of it is an act of imagination. And not only imagination, but how well you, it's also a tremendous act of empathy, of course. And part of doing you job well is being able to slip into somebody else's shoes and finding out what you have in common with them, and therefore bringing your audience closer to those characters and to those people.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Seeger

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Family breakdown destroys empathy, self-control, the economy, and spiritual capital

Family breakdown destroys empathy, self-control, the economy, and spiritual capital | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
What fewer marriages, and more illegitimacy, mean for our economy and our culture

 

Schulz finds it helpful to think of these things in terms of character, a trait that social scientist James Q. Wilson described as a mix of empathy and self-control. “Empathy refers to a willingness to take importantly into account the rights, needs and feelings of others,” Wilson writes. “Self-control refers to a willingness to take importantly into account the more distant consequences of present actions.” Connecting the dots accordingly, Schulz observes that “empathy is a big part of a person’s social capital” and “self-control a big part of his human capital.


Thus, without a healthy fostering of empathy and self-control, the economy will certainly fade, and without the family, such cultivation is extremely difficult:

 

The family is the first institution within which we learn about empathy, where we learn to take into account the rights, desires, and needs of others, a mother for her son, a brother for his sister, a daughter for her father, cousin for cousin, and so on...

 

BY JOSEPH SUNDE

 


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Empathy's Non-Verbal Language

Empathy's Non-Verbal Language | Empathy and Compassion | Scoop.it
Six tips on how to reach children through our actions.

 

So, what are the most effective ways of showing empathy through our gestures? The non-verbal interaction between adults and children is actually not much different than that between adults alone. The point is that it is necessary to communicate effectively with children now if we are to teach them empathy on a non-verbal platform. That being said, here are a few tips on how to make children feel important, trusting and understood:

Put yourself on their level

Adults are larger in stature than children, so they often look down at children. And adults can seem intimidating as a result. Simply kneeling down alongside a child’s desk creates a sense of equality between adult and child because they are at the same level. This creates trust, and it makes children more likely to share their concerns.

 

By Megan Noack

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