The situation in Israel/Palestine is intolerable and calls for a response grounded in compassion, empathy, understanding and healing. We at the Network of Spiritual Progressives offer such a response and hope others will join us...
I sometimes feel a sense of hopelessness at the current situation and know many people don’t have any idea what to do to stop this madness, nonetheless I am now working to expand our Network of Spiritual Progressives
to help spread a different worldview and to bring a voice of compassion and empathy to the situation.
Now, with regard to the people who have done things we call "terrorism," I'm confident they have been expressing their pain in many different ways for thirty years or more.
Instead of our empathically receiving it when they expressed it in much gentler ways -- they were trying to tell us how hurt they felt that some of their most sacred needs were not being respected by the way we were trying to meet our economic and military needs -- they got progressively more agitated.
Finally, they got so agitated that it took horrible form.”
A "coopetition" will start Thursday in Fayetteville.
This altruistic competition is Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest. T
he games run through Sept. 21, which is the International Day of Peace, said Nancy Harris, team leader for the Compassion Games group with Compassion Fayetteville. Compassion Fayetteville is hosting the competition in Fayetteville, one of 42 cities participating around the globe. The purpose of the Compassion Games is to increase compassion in the city through the idea of a friendly competition, Harris said....
The part of the brain that is involved in empathising with the pain of others is more highly activated by seeing the suffering of hateful people than those we like, a recent study finds.
While we might imagine we would empathise more with the suffering of those we like, we may focus on the hateful person’s pain because we need to monitor our enemies carefully.
Dr. Lisa Aziz-Zadeh, who led the study, said:
“When you watch an action movie and the bad guy appears to be defeated, the moment of his demise draws our focus intensely. We watch him closely to see whether he’s really down for the count, because it’s critical for predicting his potential for retribution in the future.”
Empathy as a term is a modern concept, but the idea of a fellow-feeling with others has a long history. In the twenty-first century—in a world of global charities, tax-deductible donations, and instant outpourings of funds and expressions of grief in the wake of human and natural disasters—it might seem that empathy is the natural reaction to the suffering of others, an inherent good.
But does this reflect the history of empathic feelings?
Is there an alternative tradition in which empathy is seen as a dangerous emotion, one capable of derailing higher ethical imperatives, such as reason, justice, salvation?
Louise D’Arcens (University of Wollongong)
Helen Day (University of Central Lancashire)
Yasmin Haskell (The University of Western Australia)
Fincina Hopgood (The University of Melbourne)
Jay Johnston (The University of Sydney)
Andrew Lynch (The University of Western Australia)
Empathy is at the heart of what it means to be human. It’s a foundation for acting ethically, for good relationships of many kinds, for loving well, and for professional success. And it’s key to preventing bullying and many other forms of cruelty.
Empathy begins with the capacity to take another perspective, to walk in another’s shoes. But it is not just that capacity. Salespeople, politicians, actors and marketers are often very skilled at taking other perspectives but they may not care about others.
Con men and torturers take other perspectives so they can exploit people’s weaknesses. Empathy includes valuing other perspectives and people. It’s about perspective-taking and compassion.
How can parents’ cultivate empathy? The following are five guideposts based on research and the wisdom of practitioners.
1. Empathize with your child and model empathy for others...
2. Make caring for others a priority and set high ethical expectations...
3. Provide opportunities for children to practice empathy...
4. Expand your child’s circle of concern...
5. Help children develop self-control and manage feelings effectively...
Richard Weissbourd and Stephanie Jones Making Caring Common Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Being able to practice empathy is one of the biggest skills you can learn.
In a world that spends so much time picking at flaws and igniting fear and anger in people, empathy can be a balm to that fear and anger. It can help you, and others, lead a more fulfilling and healthier life. See step 1 to get started.
There are Selves who unify their expressions by their subjective force; it is only with the intensity of such subjectivity that one even sees the world of objects. Robert Motherwell
....To define what empathy could be in a poem is difficult indeed, since the very act of reading or writing has some sense of voyeuristic distance built into it, and yet the tension that empathic listening gives to a poem remains critical to its power, a quality of speaking and being spoken, of going more deeply inward as if somewhere in there were the path to others.
Recently, her team has been investigating networks in the brain that appear to have a role in empathy.
She’s found evidence for two types of empathy, each tied to a different network of brain regions. One type she calls mental empathy, which requires you to mentally step outside yourself and think about what another person is thinking or experiencing.
The other type she calls embodied empathy; this is the more visceral in-the-moment empathy you might feel when you see someone get punched in the guts.
Designer Cindy van den Bremen was born in 1972 in Vlissingen, a town in the south-west of the Netherlands by the Sea.
From an early age she developed a broad interest in other cultures and religions. Cindy works independent from her studio CvdBremen in Eindhoven as an Empathic Designer with an expertise in Cultural Diversity and teaches at the Technical University in her hometown at the Faculty of Industrial Design.
She gives lectures, presentations & workshops to a variety of audiences both national and internationally, both in the Dutch and English language. Cindy teaches a design workshop titled, Masterclass - the necessity of Empathy. From the workshop description,
"Designing is the ability to empathize with others. As the title would assume this lecture and workshop focused on empathy and the necessity of the added value of empathy in co-design processes.
How does empathy help you in co-design projects?
How can you apply it and how can it be an inspiration in your concept development?
These themes were discussed and experienced in an interactive and inspiring afternoon. I realized the complexity of empathy and importance of finding a common ground. When working with a user to make sure that he or she can find their own goal and inner motivation."
The Compassion Games are a worldwide celebration aimed at turning the Golden Rule into the Golden Reality.
The annual event, which is practiced in countries around the world, celebrates ongoing compassionate activities and is intended to inspire more everyday instances of caring activities. It’s called a “coopetition” – part competition, mostly cooperation – because helping each other is the best way to win!
Sunday, Sept. 7th from 2:00-5:00pm, Rabbi Lerner and Cat Zavis will co-lead a workshop called: Grieving for Israel and Palestine: a training on how empathy can become a path to Middle East peace.
In this 3-hour workshop, you will learn techniques to deal with your distress, rage, and upset about the situation in Israel and Palestine and also have opportunities to learn and practice skills for hearing those who don’t agree with you and expressing yourself more effectively. You will leave feeling empowered to engage in healthy discourse, even with those with whom you disagree.
The workshop will include various mediums for self-expression and compassionate listening and speaking as well as teaching and coaching in Empathic Communication and conflict resolution.
Studies have argued that empathy to the pain of out-group members is largely diminished by “in-group empathy bias”.
Investigating the mechanism underlying the emotional reactions of Jewish Israeli participants toward the pain experienced by Palestinians in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict affords a natural experiment that allows us to examine the role of neurohormones in emotion sensitivity across conflicting social groups. In a double-blind placebo-controlled within-subject crossover design, Israeli Jewish participants were asked to report their empathy to the pain of in-group (Jewish), neutral out-group (European), and adversary out-group (Palestinian) members.
Oxytocin remarkably increased empathy to the pain of Palestinians, attenuating the effect of in-group empathy bias observed under the placebo condition.
This effect, we argue, is driven by the general role of oxytocin in increasing the salience of social agents which, in turn, may interfere with processes pertaining to derogation of out-group members during intractable conflicts.
Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Animals And Us. About Frans de Waal's TED Talk, Empathy, cooperation and fairness seem like distinctly human
RAZ: And if an animal intuitively understands reciprocity, then maybe, just maybe, that animal understands and feels what others are feeling - empathy. And Frans decided to test this out by looking at something called synchronization.
(SOUNDBITE OF TED TALK)
Synchronization, which is part of that whole empathy mechanism, is a very old one in the animal kingdom.
And in humans of course, we can study that with yawn contagion. Humans yawn when others yawn. And it's related to empathy. It activates the same areas in the brain.
Also, we know that people who have a lot of yawn contagion are highly empathic. People who have problems with empathy, such as autistic children, they don't have yawn contagion. So it is connected. And we studied that in our chimpanzees by presenting them with an animated head that yawns.
And there's an actual real chimpanzee watching a computer screen on which we play these animations. So yawn contagion - that you're probably all familiar with and maybe you're going to start yawning soon now - is something that we share with other animals. And that's related to that whole synchronization that underlies empathy.
The 'care ethic' leads campus activists and administrators to squelch uncomfortable speech, with few limits. And that impulse is increasingly global, new book says.
The Tyranny of the ‘Care Ethic’ While Lukianoff asks readers, many of whom are likely to be conservative, to welcome liberals who value free inquiry and debate as allies, he takes aim at a likely root cause of the problem: “empathy.”
Less than Human Review: Freedom from Speech by Greg Lukianoff http://freebeacon.com/issues/less-than-human/ Lukianoff’s description of liberal morality provides a useful paradigm for understanding assaults on freedom of speech, especially in liberal epicenters like most universities. It does not always hold up—progressives champion graphic and explicit art, for example, that make people uncomfortable—but the morality of empathy helps explain a lot.
But this explanation, while sympathetic and surely often correct, misses a much darker aspect of the left’s social agenda.
The left feels empathy for people, but that empathy is not guided by any sense of what is right and good for people. Like Bill Clinton, the empathic left merely “feels their pain” and wants to end it.
by Dian Killian (Author) and Mark Badger (Illustrator)
Dian and Mark are using comics in an innovative way to raise questions and provoke thought about how we conduct ourselves as human beings.
No other city can boast as many super heroes as New York---Superman, Batman, and Spiderman all play out their larger-than-life adventures in the Big Apple. Yet what happens when the action figure genre is applied to a different kind of risk and adventure---every day interactions between New Yorkers? And rather than using physical force or finesse---like Superman and Spiderman---it's communication skills to the rescue? In action-figure format, Urban Empathy, is a series of vignettes making use of Nonviolent Communication in everyday situations in New York.
The world is changing faster than ever before. Institutions are flat, open, and highly networked. In this new paradigm, traditional approaches to education are no longer appropriate. We must educate our children to be empathetic Changemakers, able to collaborate, create, and act constructively in an ambiguous and changing environment.
Five schools in the UK have already realised what their role in creating an Everyone a Changemakerworld is. Learn more on how Ashoka UK’s first Changemaker Schools innovate and empower their pupils to be agents of change:
Empathy isn’t just taking another perspective. Con men can do that. In order to be empathetic, children need to know how to value, respect and understand another person’s points of view, even when they don’t agree.
In the wake of these dispiriting study results, the Making Caring Common Project and the Ashoka Empathy Initiative created a set of recommendations for teaching empathy to children.
1. Empathize with your child and model how to feel compassion for others...
2. Make caring for others a priority and set high ethical expectations....
3. Provide opportunities for children to practice...
4. Expand your child’s circle of concern...
5. Help children develop self-control and manage feelings effectively....
There is a danger in using the word too loosely," believes Lynne Cameron of the Open University, who is engaged on a three-year programme to understand the dynamics of empathy.
She refers to the rhetoric as "deceptive" and "disturbing". The difficulty is this: empathy can be defined as stepping into someone else's shoes, but have you ever tried it? Your imaginative exercise might evoke concern for the Chinese factory worker in Shenzhen.
Yet it can also provoke antipathy. What is consumer culture, if not an exercise in mass empathy, powered by the desire for the shoes of the rich and famous, because you long to wear them, too?
Empathy is at the heart of human social life. It allows us to respond appropriately to others’ emotions and mental states. A perceived lack of empathy is also one of the symptoms that defines autism. Understanding this is key to devising effective therapies.
While empathic behaviour takes many forms, it is worthwhile to note at least two main sets of processes that are involved in empathising. One of these processes is a bottom-up, automatic response to others’ emotions.
The classic example of this is breaking into giggles upon seeing another person giggle, without really knowing the reason why. The other is a top-down response, where we need to work out what another person must be feeling – a bit like solving a puzzle.
by Bhismadev Chakrabarti
Culture of Empathy Builder Page: Bhismadev Chakrabarti