Radical Compassion
29.1K views | +2 today
Follow
 
Scooped by Jim Manske
onto Radical Compassion
Scoop.it!

Six Habits of Highly Empathetic People

Six Habits of Highly Empathetic People | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

If you think you’re hearing the word “empathy” everywhere, you’re right. It’s nowon the lips of scientists and business leaders, education experts and political activists. But there is a vital question that few people ask: How can I expand my own empathic potential? Empathy is not just a way to extend the boundaries of your moral universe. According to new research, it’s a habit we can cultivate to improve the quality of our own lives.

But what is empathy? It’s the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions. That makes it different from kindness or pity. And don’t confuse it with the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” As George Bernard Shaw pointed out, “Do not do unto others as you would have them do unto you—they might have different tastes.” Empathy is about discovering those tastes.

The big buzz about empathy stems from a revolutionary shift in the science of how we understand human nature. The old view that we are essentially self-interested creatures is being nudged firmly to one side by evidence that we are also homo empathicus, wired for empathy, social cooperation, and mutual aid.

Over the last decade, neuroscientists have identified a 10-section “empathy circuit” in our brains which, if damaged, can curtail our ability to understand what other people are feeling. Evolutionary biologists like Frans de Waal have shown that we are social animals who have naturally evolved to care for each other, just like our primate cousins. And psychologists have revealed that we are primed for empathy by strong attachment relationships in the first two years of life.

But empathy doesn’t stop developing in childhood. We can nurture its growth throughout our lives—and we can use it as a radical force for social transformation. Research in sociology, psychology, history—and my own studies of empathic personalities over the past 10 years—reveals how we can make empathy an attitude and a part of our daily lives, and thus improve the lives of everyone around us. Here are the Six Habits of Highly Empathic People:

 

HABIT 1: TALK WITH STRANGERS

Highly empathic people (HEPs) have an insatiable curiosity about strangers. They will talk to the person sitting next to them on the bus, having retained that natural inquisitiveness we allhad as children, but which society is so good at beating out of us. They find other people more interesting than themselves but are not out to interrogate them, respecting the advice of the oral historian Studs Terkel: “Don’t be an examiner, be the interested inquirer.”

Curiosity expands our empathy when we talk to people outside our usual social circle, encountering lives and worldviews very different from our own. Curiosity is good for us too: Happiness guru Martin Seligman identifies it as a key character strength that can enhance life satisfaction. And it is a useful cure for the chronic loneliness afflicting around one in three Americans.

Cultivating curiosity requires more than having a brief chat about the weather. Crucially, it tries to understand the world inside the head of the other person. We are confronted by strangers every day, like the heavily tattooed woman who delivers your mail or the new employee who always eats his lunch alone. Set yourself the challenge of having a conversation with one stranger every week. All it requires is courage.

 

HABIT 2: CHALLENGE PREJUDICES AND DISCOVER COMMONALITIES

We all have assumptions about others and use collective labels—e.g., “Muslim fundamentalist,” “welfare mom”—that prevent us from appeciating their individuality. HEPs challenge their own preconceptions and prejudices by searching for what they share with people rather than what divides them. An episode from the history of US race relations illustrates how this can happen.

Claiborne Paul Ellis was born into a poor white family in Durham, North Carolina, in 1927.Finding it hard to make ends meet working in a garage and believing African Americans were the cause of all his troubles, he followed his father’s footsteps and joined the Ku Klux Klan, eventually rising to the top position of Exalted Cyclops of his local KKK branch.

In 1971 he was invited—as a prominent local citizen—to a 10-day community meeting to tackle racial tensions in schools, and was chosen to head a steering committee with Ann Atwater, a black activist he despised. But working with her exploded his prejudices about African Americans. He saw that she shared the same problems of poverty as his own. “I was beginning to look at a black person, shake hands with him, and see him as a human being,” he recalled of his experience on the committee. “It was almost like bein’ born again.” On the final night of the meeting, he stood in front of a thousand people and tore up his Klan membership card.

Ellis later became a labor organiser for a union whose membership was 70 percent African American. He and Ann remained friends for the rest of their lives. There may be no better example of the power of empathy to overcome hatred and change our minds.

 

HABIT 3: TRY ANOTHER PERSON’S LIFE

So you think ice climbing and hang-gliding are extreme sports? Then you need to try experiential empathy, the most challenging—and potentially rewarding—of them all. HEPs expand their empathy by gaining direct experience of other people’s lives, putting into practice the Native American proverb, “Walk a mile in another man’s moccasins before you criticize him.”

George Orwell is an inspiring model. After several years as a colonial police officer in British Burma in the 1920s, Orwell returned to Britain determined to discover what life was like for those living on the social margins. “I wanted to submerge myself, to get right down among the oppressed,” he wrote. So he dressed up as a tramp with shabby shoes and coat, and lived on the streets of East London with beggars and vagabonds. The result, recorded in his bookDown and Out in Paris and London, was a radical change in his beliefs, priorities, and relationships. He not only realized that homeless people are not “drunken scoundrels”—Orwell developed new friendships, shifted his views on inequality, and gathered some superb literary material. It was the greatest travel experience of his life. He realised that empathy doesn’t just make you good—it’s good for you, too.

We can each conduct our own experiments. If you are religiously observant, try a “God Swap,”  attending the services of faiths different from your own, including a meeting of Humanists. Or if you’re an atheist, try attending different churches! Spend your next vacation living and volunteering in a village in a developing country. Take the path favored by philosopher John Dewey, who said, “All genuine education comes about through experience.”

 

HABIT 4: LISTEN HARD—AND OPEN UP

There are two traits required for being an empathic conversationalist.One is to master the art of radical listening. “What is essential,” says Marshall Rosenberg, psychologist and founder of Non-Violent Communication (NVC), “is our ability to be present to what’s really going on within—to the unique feelings and needs a person is experiencing in that very moment.” HEPs listen hard to others and do all they can to grasp their emotional state and needs, whether it is a friend who has just been diagnosed with cancer or a spouse who is upset at them for working late yet again.

But listening is never enough. The second trait is to make ourselves vulnerable. Removing our masks and revealing our feelings to someone is vital for creating a strong empathic bond. Empathy is a two-way street that, at its best, is built upon mutual understanding—an exchange of our most important beliefs and experiences.

Organizations such as the Israeli-Palestinian Parents Circle put it all into practice by bringing together bereaved families from both sides of the conflict to meet, listen, and talk. Sharing stories about how their loved ones died enables families to realize that they share the same pain and the same blood, despite being on opposite sides of a political fence, and has helped to create one of the world’s most powerful grassroots peace-building movements.

 

HABIT 5: INSPIRE MASS ACTION AND SOCIAL CHANGE

We typically assume empathy happens at the level of individuals, but HEPs understand that empathy can also be a mass phenomenon that brings about fundamental social change.

Just think of the movements against slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries on both sides of the Atlantic. As journalist Adam Hochschild reminds us, “The abolitionists placed their hope not in sacred texts but human empathy,” doing all they could to get people to understand the very real suffering on the plantations and slave ships. Equally, the international trade union movement grew out of empathy between industrial workers united by their shared exploitation. The overwhelming public response to the Asian tsunami of 2004 emerged from a sense of empathic concern for the victims, whose plight was dramatically beamed into our homes on shaky video footage.

Empathy will most likely flower on a collective scale if its seeds are planted in our children.  That’s why HEPs support efforts such as Canada’s pioneering Roots of Empathy, the world’s most effective empathy teaching program, which has benefited over half a million school kids. Its unique curriculum centers on an infant, whose development children observe over time in order to learn emotional intelligence—and its results include significant declines in playground bullying and higher levels of academic achievement.

Beyond education, the big challenge is figuring out how social networking technology can harness the power of empathy to create mass political action. Twitter may have gotten people onto the streets for Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring, but can it convince us to care deeply about the suffering of distant strangers, whether they are drought-stricken farmers in Africa or future generations who will bear the brunt of our carbon-junkie lifestyles? This will only happen if social networks learn to spread not just information, but empathic connection.

 

HABIT 6: DEVELOP AN AMBITIOUS IMAGINATION

A final trait of HEPs is that they do far more than empathize with the usual suspects. We tend to believe empathy should be reserved for those living on the social margins or who are suffering. This is necessary, but it is hardly enough.

We also need to empathize with people whose beliefs we don’t share or who may be “enemies” in some way. If you are a campaigner on global warming, for instance, it may be worth trying to step into the shoes of oil company executives—understanding their thinking and motivations—if you want to devise effective strategies to shift them towards developing renewable energy. A little of this “instrumental empathy” (sometimes known as “impact anthropology”) can go a long way.

Empathizing with adversaries is also a route to social tolerance. That was Gandhi’s thinking during the conflicts between Muslims and Hindus leading up to Indian independence in 1947, when he declared, “I am a Muslim! And a Hindu, and a Christian and a Jew.”

Organizations, too, should be ambitious with their empathic thinking. Bill Drayton, the renowned “father of social entrepreneurship,” believes that in an era of rapid technological change, mastering empathy is the key business survival skill because it underpins successful teamwork and leadership. His influential Ashoka Foundation has launched the Start Empathyinitiative, which is taking its ideas to business leaders, politicians and educators worldwide.

The 20th century was the Age of Introspection, when self-help and therapy culture encouraged us to believe that the best way to understand who we are and how to live was to look inside ourselves. But it left us gazing at our own navels. The 21st century should become the Age of Empathy, when we discover ourselves not simply through self-reflection, but by becoming interested in the lives of others. We need empathy to create a new kind of revolution. Not an old-fashioned revolution built on new laws, institutions, or policies, but a radical revolution in human relationships.

more...
John Michel's curator insight, July 26, 2013 10:58 PM

If you think you’re hearing the word “empathy” everywhere, you’re right. It’s nowon the lips of scientists and business leaders, education experts and political activists. But there is a vital question that few people ask: How can I expand my own empathic potential? Empathy is not just a way to extend the boundaries of your moral universe. According to new research, it’s a habit we can cultivate to improve the quality of our own lives.

Radical Compassion
News that feeds your aspirations and inspirations
Curated by Jim Manske
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Rescooped by Jim Manske from Empathy and Compassion
Scoop.it!

Near-Death Experience Leads Physician to Promote Empathy

Near-Death Experience Leads Physician to Promote Empathy | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

The physician empathy training, which could be employed at other institutions, centers on these main strategies:

taking the position of the other person;staying out of judgment;recognizing the emotion a patient may be feeling; andreflecting what the patient is saying back to them.


"We feel those are the four components that are critical to developing a relationship," Dr Awdish said. "Empathy allows you to transform these encounters into relationships, and that is truly what will impact the patient experience."

 

 Damian McNamara


Via Edwin Rutsch
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Jim Manske from Empathy and Compassion
Scoop.it!

school for lifeSelf Compassion 

It’s all too easy to be extremely tough on ourselves; we need – at points – to get better at self-compassion. Here is an exercise in how to lessen the voices of self-flagellation.

Via Edwin Rutsch
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

The scientifically proven, step-by-step guide to having a breakthrough conversation across party lines

The scientifically proven, step-by-step guide to having a breakthrough conversation across party lines | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
There seems to be no way around it: In the aftermath of a contentious US presidential election, conversations between voters all along the political spectrum either devolve into shouting matches and insults, or irreconcilable platitudes. If they occur at all. But we’ve been here before, according to the late psychologist Marshall Rosenberg. 

As a communications coach and mediator for civil rights and student activists during the US civil rights era, Rosenberg developed a practical strategy for peaceful conflict resolution called non-violent communication. By focusing on language and process, the theory goes, injured parties can shift the tone of their communication and spur collaboration. 

Rosenberg’s method, now used by companies, conflict negotiators, and personal therapists, is rooted in the belief that all humans share the same universal needs, including the sense that they’re being heard, understood, valued, and respected. Conflicts arise when words are perceived as threats, which devolve into power struggles. The goal of Rosenberg’s four-step approach to meaningful conversations is to connect about everyone’s needs, not to “win.”

Dian Killian, a certified trainer in Rosenberg’s method and collaborative communications consultant, breaks down the four steps.  Click through to read the rest of the article.
Jim Manske's insight:
Thrilled that NVC gets some press on Quartz! 
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

Why We Need Empathy in the Age of Trump

Why We Need Empathy in the Age of Trump | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Sociologist Arlie Hochschild explains why we need to understand people on the other side of the political divide—and how empathy can be a force for positive change.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

What do you do when the bottom falls out? Rick Hanson

November 9, 2016  
The Practice: Take heart. 

 Why It takes heart to live in even ordinary times. By "taking heart," I mean several related things: 

Sensing your heart and chest finding encouragement in what is good both around you and inside you 

Resting in your own warmth, compassion, and kindness; resting in the caring for you from others; love flowing in and love flowing out 

Being courageous, whole-hearted and strong-hearted - going forward wisely even when anxious, knowing your own truth and as you can speaking it 

When you take heart, you're more able to deal with challenges like aging, illness, trauma, or conflicts with others. You're also more able to take advantage of opportunities with confidence and grit. Additionally, it takes heart to live in, live with, and live beyond times that are really hard. 

Your personal hard time might be bad news about your health, the death of a parent, or betrayal by others. Or it could be related to changes in your country and world, and your concerns about their effects on others and yourself; I've written about the importance of finding and facing facts at the level of society. 

There are so many examples of honorable people facing great difficulty with dignity, principle, and courage. They did it. We can, too.

How 

Start by riding out the storm. When big things happen at any scale - in your child's schoolyard or in a refugee camp on the other side of the world - it is completely natural and normal to be shocked and disturbed by them. As best you can, stay with the raw experience, the body sensations, the deep feelings, the stirred up fears and anger and perhaps paralysis. 

Whatever it is, it is your experience; some may be upset about a big event while others may be glad about it; I am definitely not trying to talk you out of your experience. Be mindful of whatever is passing through the big open space of awareness, observing it without being flooded by it. Painful and counter-intuitive as it may be, this is the foundation of releasing really hard experiences and replacing them gradually and authentically with thoughts and feelings that are helpful, wholesome, wise, and even happy. 

Do things that help you come back to center and find your footing. Personally, I prioritize exercise, sleep, and meditation; I try to feel the truth of being basically alright right now, in this moment, moment after moment (alongside and deeper than pain or sorrow); I do the dishes and make the bed. Walk the dog, call a friend, eat something, look at trees and sky, get a cup of tea and stare into space. Take good care of your body. Guard and guide your attention. It's one thing to find facts and form the best plans you can. It's another thing to get distracted or upset by news or other people that do not add any useful value. 

Take heart in the good that is real. Outside you, there is the kindness in others, the beauty of a single leaf, the stars that still shine no matter what hides them. Right now as you read, all over the world children are laughing in delight, families are sitting down to a meal, babies are being born, and loving arms are holding people who are dying. Inside you, there is your compassion, sincere efforts, sweet memories, capabilities - and much more. 

Take heart with others, sharing worries, support, and friendship. Do the things you can. The more that events are turbulent, alarming, and beyond your influence, the more important it is to grow stability, safety, and agency inside you and around you. Have courage. At all human scales, strong forces have always tried to confuse and frighten others. Whatever outward action is necessary, you can preserve an inner freedom, never cowed or bowed in your core. 

 Last, I've found it really helps to have perspective. Without minimizing one bit of whatever is awful, it is also true that humans like you and I have been walking this earth for nearly 200,000 years. I see the trees, the land, the ocean - all of it here before me and lasting long after me. Empires rise and fall. Sometimes the center does not hold - in a body, marriage, or nation - and still. And still people love each other, go out of their way for a stranger, and marvel at a rainbow. Nothing, nothing at all can change this. We keep putting one foot in front of the other one, lifting each other up along the way.
Jim Manske's insight:
This our chance to practice resilience and healing.  First, self-care!  Then, we need to listen to one another, and from that deep listening take steps that acknowledge everyone's needs, and begin compassionately addressing them with whole-heartedness.  What can you do, right now, to take care of yourself?  Is reading social media and the news supporting your well-being, right now?  If so,  yay!  If not, make a new choice!
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

A Violence Prevention Strategy

A Violence Prevention Strategy | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

The tensions between the Cambodian People’s Party and the Cambodia National Rescue Party in the run up to the 2017 and 2018 elections are reason to consider all available violence prevention strategies, including those besides law and order. 


 “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed,” states the preamble of the constitution of Unesco. How can you and I build such defenses of peace? 


One way is to learn the language of humanization. The psychologist Zimbardo observed that the process of dehumanization is central to the transformation of ordinary people into indifferent, even cruel perpetrators of violence. 


 Dehumanization is the reduction of the full humanity of a person or a people to one or few single traits, which makes them appear less human and hence unworthy of equal treatment. While all the causes of violence remain to be conclusively defined, most scientists agree that dehumanization is a precursor.


Humans do not persecute humans whom they believe to be similar to themselves. According to Genocide Watch, dehumanization is the third stage of the genocide process, following the stages of classification and symbolization and preceding organization, polarization, preparation, extermination and denial. 


 Our language matters in that it may become a vehicle of dehumanization, legitimizing and promoting violent actions; a phenomenon called “cultural violence” in peacebuilding. The violent conflict strategies of politicians, militaries and militias typically contain dehumanizing language, because it lowers our resistance to hurting another human being. Khmer Rouge guards replaced the names of Tuol Sleng prisoners with numbers. The Hutu government referred to Tutsis as traitors in the run-up to the genocide in Rwanda. The US military continues to describe its enemies as targets.


 Much of the language we use in our day-to-day life too is dehumanizing and therefore puts us at risk of becoming violent. Consider the following interpersonal, community and political examples. Our children are arguing over a toy. When we respond with “bad kids,” we pave the way for disconnection and acts of violence justified as punishment. 


 Now imagine Vietnamese come to settle in our village. In conversations with other community members, we might say “all Vietnamese are criminals,” thus making their eventual expulsion more likely. 


Finally, suppose our political leaders are in disagreement, so by extension so are we. Calling Prime Minister Hun Sen a “dictator” or opposition leader Sam Rainsy a “traitor” in political debate will harden the enemy images that fuel violent protests and repression. 


 So should we just call everybody “sweetheart”? No. Positive labels are the other side of the same coin. They can be likewise dehumanizing. 


The actual alternative is to focus on our similarities instead of our differences. The language of humanization, from the perspective of nonviolent communication as developed by Marshall Rosenberg, draws our attention to the needs that we as human beings have in common, such as food, shelter, safety, autonomy, acceptance and peace. Conflict arises when our strategies for meeting these needs clash. However, because I have the same needs as you, I can understand what drives you even if I abhor what you are saying or doing. Guessing (I cannot know for sure) what you are feeling and needing will ease my eagerness to get even with you. 


 For example, we are more likely to create understanding and resolve the conflict between our children, if we guess “are you feeling frustrated, because both of you would love to play with this toy?” We reduce our inclination to scapegoat the Vietnamese newcomers and increase our willingness to contribute to their well-being, as soon as we guess “are you feeling nervous and at the same time hopeful, because you would like to be accepted and access the resources you need to survive?” 


 We start breaking down the relational barrier between our political parties, when we guess: “Hun Sen, are you alarmed, because you want to protect the nation’s stability and economic growth, as well as your own safety by securing influence and financial resources?” And: “Sam Rainsy, are you concerned, because political participation and equality are fundamentally important to you, while you want to be able to express your views without jeopardizing your life by living in exile?”


 The language of humanization increases our resistance to hurting other humans, because we come to see that they are just like us, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, wealth, power or position. 


Humanization has long been integral to the non-violent conflict strategies implemented by peace builders. International mediators advised the Colombian government on the psychological aspects of the peace negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. 


 The Centre for Nonviolent Communication is teaching empathy to children in American and European schools. The Transcultural Psychosocial Organization facilitates restorative dialogues between victims and perpetrators of Khmer Rouge violence here in Cambodia. 


But surely we need to protect ourselves from – how shall we put it – “crazy guys”? Trying to understand someone’s violent actions does not mean condoning them. Should there be no option for dialogue and our lives be in danger, we may resort to the protective instead of the punitive use of force. That is what Gandhi did when he led the non-cooperation movement against the British oppression of the people of India without dehumanizing his opponents. 


We may not be able to influence the language used by our politicians and military, but we can influence the way we express ourselves. In the face of conflict, we can decide to humanize the people around us and in so doing, reverse the genocide process and prevent violence.


 We can free up the internal resources necessary to pursue collaborative and constructive ways of meeting everyone’s needs. To teach the language of humanization to ourselves, our children, our communities and our leaders is to build defenses of peace in our minds. Jeannine Suurmond specializes in mediation, restorative justice and nonviolent communication and lives in Phnom Penh.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

'I Wanted To Show Them How it Felt': The Women Using VR as Empathy Activism | Broadly

One minute you're holding a mini elephant in your hand; the next, you're floating about in deep space or hang gliding across the Alps. No longer the provenance of a technological elite, virtual reality (VR) has truly arrived. It promises to become the next mass medium in a way that pundits say mirrors the arrival of film at the start of the 20th century. But what if VR dared to do more, like increase empathy and change people's minds—even people in positions of power? A school of female VR filmmakers are honing in on this possibility, combining the impact of the medium with that most traditional of human endeavors: storytelling.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

Sign the petition: TEACH NONVIOLENCE IN OUR SCHOOLS

We believe that teaching nonviolent communication at every grade level in our schools will prevent the violent killing that is increasingly prevalent in our schools and society. We ask that our governmental leaders make this education mandatory in our nation's schools, beginning at the earliest grades and continuing through graduation from high school.
Jim Manske's insight:
As we deepen into a political season marked by the deepest polarization (at least according to the media) that I have ever experienced, I am grateful for the reminder that thousands of people support nonviolence and educating our children in Nonviolent Communication.  Our friends, Genesis and Sulara, started this petition, and in light of recent events on the political scene, it seems important to re-energize our collective efforts to let those we elect know we value NVC and appreciate how it can create a better world for all of us-no matter what your political preferences may be!  Would you be willing to read and sign the petition?  What could you do to help this "go viral"?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

26 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better

26 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Poverty is down, literacy is up, and life expectancy is rising.
Jim Manske's insight:
Don't be daunted by the negative tendencies of some folks who choose to constantly parade "facts" about how terrible things are.  Of course, things are terrible for some of us!  And, overall, as a species we are making some progress.  Don't buy in to fear!  Buy in to "Who needs what right now?" and "How can we help?".  Let's keep the momentum going in our lives and continue to work together to make life more wonderful for everyone of us.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

Flip the Script

Flip the Script | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Psychology has a golden rule: If I am warm, you are usually warm. If I am hostile, you are too. But what happens if you flip the script and meet hostility with warmth? It's called "noncomplementary behavior" — a mouthful, but a powerful concept, and very hard to execute. Alix and Hanna examine three attempts to pull it off: during a robbery, a terrorism crisis and a dating dry spell.

To play the podcast:  http://goo.gl/km5A4y
Jim Manske's insight:
One of my favorite 21st century enhancements is the podcast. There are a few I enjoy. This one, moved me and inspired me, especially the first two sections. For me, this is another indication that the consciousness we point to when we use the "word" NVC is universal and unlimited in its application. As Marshall Rosenberg once said, "I'd rather have NVC than a gun." Listen to the first 10 minutes or so of this podcast to gain your own insight into what Marshall may have meant.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

Can Attachment Theory Explain All Our Relationships?

Can Attachment Theory Explain All Our Relationships? | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
The most important parenting you’ll ever do happens before your child turns one — and may affect her for the rest of her life. One mother’s journey through the science of attachment.
Jim Manske's insight:
I have been fortunate to receive some education in attachment theory from Sarah Peyton, CNVC trainer in Portand.  Her work integrating NVC with Interpersonal Neurobiology has supported me in more clarity and self-compassion, as well as compassion for all.
more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Jim Manske from Empathy and Compassion
Scoop.it!

Finland is really good at stopping bullying. Here's how they're doing it. teaching bystanders to empathize and intervene.

Finland is really good at stopping bullying. Here's how they're doing it. teaching bystanders to empathize and intervene. | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Bullying is awful, but a Finnish program is teaching bystanders to empathize and intervene.

 

"In the game, students can practice how to be nice to someone and what kind of nice things you can say to someone who would like to be included in the group or is new in the school," said Alanen.

 

By asking the kids what they would do in certain situations and giving feedback and advice about it, the program can help teach the students to be more empathetic and supportive of bullying victims. And the data shows that the program works too.

 

Juvonen's analysis found that KiVa reduced the odds of a given student being bullied by about one-third to one-half.

By James Gaines


Via Edwin Rutsch
more...
Dr. Theresa Kauffman's curator insight, July 7, 2016 10:20 AM
Another great example from Finland. At Kauffman Leadership Academy, students will be supportive of each other through caring relationships.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

Having grit means less when you don’t also have privilege?

Having grit means less when you don’t also have privilege? | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Consider this statement: “I am diligent. I never give up.” If you think, “Hmm, not so much,” you might be lacking in grit, a new buzzword making rounds on the internet and in parenting circles. The statement comes from the Grit Scale, a quiz in University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Angela Duckworth’s new best-selling book...May

Jim Manske's insight:
Share your insight
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

This Organic Food Company Doesn't Discriminate Against Ex-Offenders-It Seeks Them Out, by Olivia Anderson

This Organic Food Company Doesn't Discriminate Against Ex-Offenders-It Seeks Them Out, by Olivia Anderson | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

While many employers avoid hiring those who were formerly incarcerated, one Pennsylvania company actively seeks them out. Lancaster Food Company makes a point of finding and hiring people who need help getting back on their feet. According to founder Mike Miles, it's a segment of the population that needs jobs just like anyone else, and should not be denied the chance to live healthy and productive lives. 


While he had already started successful technology companies, Miles realized that with a food company he could create opportunities for a real and neglected section of society. Lancaster Food Company is rapidly expanding, and not one employee has quit. Miles is hoping his success will inspire companies to "rethink their current practices and ignite conversations around minimum wage and employment opportunities for everyone, including ex-offenders." 


Click through for the full story.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Jim Manske from Empathy and Compassion
Scoop.it!

How To Build Empathy And Gratitude At School

How To Build Empathy And Gratitude At School | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

How, how do you exercise empathy in the classroom? Try these tips:

 

Role play– Choose a problem that the whole class has to solve. After dividing the class into two groups, assign each group a role (for example, the problem might be earning money for a class trip, and students may be assigned the role of the school principal or the bus driver). After 10 minutes of discussion in each group, have groups switch roles to build empathy for the other side.

Modeling – When facing a student who is upset about something, ask open-ended questions like “Right now you might be feeling X–is that right?” Or, offer a drop-down menu (“Are you really angry, fearful, or just tired?”) By modeling an empathetic attitude, you can help students own their feelings while showing them what empathy looks like. And above all–try not to fix. Just listen.

Understanding – As shown in the above video, understanding lies at the core of all empathy. To understand another,  you acknowledge what they’re feeling (“I get it–and I’d probably react the same way you’re reacting now”).

Mindfulness – Consider ngaging in 5-minute meditations, guided by you or a mindfulness practitioner. If you choose to do these every day, students will learn how to accept their feelings, including the negative ones, without reinforcing undesirable behaviors.

No-Bullying – Let class members come up with ideas for a non-bullying classroom and school. What does this safe space look like? Let students role-play (see above) to better understand what’s behind bullying behavior. Then, incorporate their insights into a non-bullying policy.

 

 


Via Edwin Rutsch
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

Water Protectors' Forgiveness Walk - November 6, 2016 - Mandan, ND

The Standing Rock Sioux and their allies have struggled for months to peacefully stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Our friends and CNVC colleagues Catherine Cadden and Jesse Wiens and our son Jiva have recently been at Standing Rock in solidarity with the Native American people gathered to protected the Earth and Water.  Jesse made this short film about a forgiveness walk involving the tribes and the police. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story | Charles Eisenstein

The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story | Charles Eisenstein | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Click through for a long and worthwhile read from author Charles Eisentein.


Here is one of the parts I found supportive:


"We are entering a space between stories. After various retrograde versions of a new story rise and fall and we enter a period of true unknowing, an authentic next story will emerge. What would it take for it to embody love, compassion, and interbeing? I see its lineaments in those marginal structures and practices that we call holistic, alternative, regenerative, and restorative. All of them source from empathy, the result of the compassionate inquiry: What is it like to be you?"

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

A Nation, Divided, with Liberty and Justice for the Few

A Nation, Divided, with Liberty and Justice for the Few | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Please follow the link if you are interested in Miki Kashtan's reflections on current events related to the recent election in the USA.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

Dalai Lama: Behind Our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded

Dalai Lama: Behind Our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

There has never been a better time to be alive, and yet in the richest countries, In many ways, there has never been a better time to be alive. Violence plagues some corners of the world, and too many still live under the grip of tyrannical regimes. 


And although all the world’s major faiths teach love, compassion and tolerance, unthinkable violence is being perpetrated in the name of religion. And yet, fewer among us are poor, fewer are hungry, fewer children are dying, and more men and women can read than ever before. In many countries, recognition of women’s and minority rights is now the norm. There is still much work to do, of course, but there is hope and there is progress. 


 How strange, then, to see such anger and great discontent in some of the world’s richest nations. In the United States, Britain and across the European Continent, people are convulsed with political frustration and anxiety about the future. Refugees and migrants clamor for the chance to live in these safe, prosperous countries, but those who already live in those promised lands report great uneasiness about their own futures that seems to border on hopelessness. 


 Why? 


 A small hint comes from interesting research about how people thrive. In one shocking experiment, researchers found that senior citizens who didn’t feel useful to others were nearly three times as likely to die prematurely as those who did feel useful. This speaks to a broader human truth: We all need to be needed. 


 Being “needed” does not entail selfish pride or unhealthy attachment to the worldly esteem of others. Rather, it consists of a natural human hunger to serve our fellow men and women. As the 13th-century Buddhist sages taught, “If one lights a fire for others, it will also brighten one’s own way.” 


 Virtually all the world’s major religions teach that diligent work in the service of others is our highest nature and thus lies at the center of a happy life. Scientific surveys and studies confirm shared tenets of our faiths. Americans who prioritize doing good for others are almost twice as likely to say they are very happy about their lives. In Germany, people who seek to serve society are five times likelier to say they are very happy than those who do not view service as important. Selflessness and joy are intertwined. The more we are one with the rest of humanity, the better we feel. 


This helps explain why pain and indignation are sweeping through prosperous countries. The problem is not a lack of material riches. It is the growing number of people who feel they are no longer useful, no longer needed, no longer one with their societies. 


 In America today, compared with 50 years ago, three times as many working-age men are completely outside the work force. This pattern is occurring throughout the developed world — and the consequences are not merely economic. Feeling superfluous is a blow to the human spirit. It leads to social isolation and emotional pain, and creates the conditions for negative emotions to take root. What can we do to help? The first answer is not systematic. It is personal. Everyone has something valuable to share. We should start each day by consciously asking ourselves, 


“What can I do today to appreciate the gifts that others offer me?” We need to make sure that global brotherhood and oneness with others are not just abstract ideas that we profess, but personal commitments that we mindfully put into practice. 


Each of us has the responsibility to make this a habit. But those in positions of responsibility have a special opportunity to expand inclusion and build societies that truly need everyone. 


Leaders need to recognize that a compassionate society must create a wealth of opportunities for meaningful work, so that everyone who is capable of contributing can do so. A compassionate society must provide children with education and training that enriches their lives, both with greater ethical understanding and with practical skills that can lead to economic security and inner peace. A compassionate society must protect the vulnerable while ensuring that these policies do not trap people in misery and dependence. 


Building such a society is no easy task. No ideology or political party holds all the answers. Misguided thinking from all sides contributes to social exclusion, so overcoming it will take innovative solutions from all sides. Indeed, what unites the two of us in friendship and collaboration is not shared politics or the same religion. It is something simpler: a shared belief in compassion, in human dignity, in the intrinsic usefulness of every person to contribute positively for a better and more meaningful world. The problems we face cut across conventional categories; so must our dialogue, and our friendships. 


Many are confused and frightened to see anger and frustration sweeping like wildfire across societies that enjoy historic safety and prosperity. But their refusal to be content with physical and material security actually reveals something beautiful: a universal human hunger to be needed. Let us work together to build a society that feeds this hunger. is a growing sense of unease and helplessness because people no longer feel useful.


The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the spiritual leader of Tibet and a Nobel laureate for peace. Arthur C. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute and a contributing opinion writer.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

When suspensions weren’t working, this high school opted for a new approach

When suspensions weren’t working, this high school opted for a new approach | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
D.C.’s Ballou High School chose a “restorative justice” model to address discipline issues, and it cut suspensions by more than half.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

Jews, Muslims and Christians to build a joint house of worship in Jerusalem

Jews, Muslims and Christians to build a joint house of worship in Jerusalem | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
In an attempt to turn away from polarization and politics, a group of Jews, Muslims, and Christians will be setting up a joint house of worship in Jerusalem. The prayer hall will be open to the public between September 5th to the 11th.
Jim Manske's insight:
I feel inspired by the courage of these folks who are walking the talk of unity and brotherhood/sisterhood!
more...
Peter C. Newton-Evans's curator insight, August 5, 2016 10:54 AM
The essence of all religion is one - a relationship of love with the supreme Creator, who has sent messengers from age to age to guide and inspire humankind towards an ever-advancing civilization.
Rescooped by Jim Manske from Empathy and Compassion
Scoop.it!

Empathy: Have You Got It? 

Empathy: Have You Got It?  | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy: Have You Got It?

If you believe effective communication is an important leadership skill, you surely can’t ignore empathy. That’s because empathy is a precursor to being an effective communicator. How? Empathy is about understanding or being aware of other people’s feelings even when you don’t agree or relate to them. This awareness helps to understand other people’s perception. And when you are in know of other’s perception, you can choose to ‘act’ rather than ‘react’ to situations. 
 
So when a high performing employee starts slacking off, a non-empathetic leader will probably react by doubting the employee’s ability. But an empathetic leader will give the benefit of doubt and ask, “Is everything ok? Is something bothering you?”

 


Via Edwin Rutsch
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

We Are All Criminals

We Are All Criminals | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

One in four people in the United States has a criminal record. It’s a record for something other than a minor traffic violation used by the vast majority of employers, legislators, landlords and licensing boards to craft policy and determine the character of an individual. 


In our electronic and data age, it typically does not disappear, regardless of how long it’s been or how far one’s come. It’s a record that prevents not only professional licensure and a gainful career path, but can also get in the way of obtaining entry-level positions, foster care licenses, entry into college, and safe housing. 


But We Are All Criminals is not about those records. This project looks at the other 75%: those of us who have had the luxury of living without an official reminder of a past mistake. Participants in We Are All Criminals tell stories of crimes they got away with. Some details have been changed to help protect the participants’ identities and to abbreviate the stories; the majority of the people interviewed relayed numerous offenses, but in most cases, only one of the stories has been cataloged. 


The participants are doctors and lawyers, social workers and students, retailers and retirees who consider how very different their lives could have been had they been caught. The photographs, while protecting participants’ identities, convey personality: each is taken in the participant’s home, office, crime scene, or neighborhood. The stories are of youth, boredom, intoxication, and porta potties. They are humorous, humiliating, and humbling in turn.


They are privately held memories without public stigma; they are criminal histories without criminal records. We Are All Criminals seeks to challenge society’s perception of what it means to be a criminal and how much weight a record should be given, when truly – we are all criminals. 


But it is also a commentary on the disparate impact of our nation’s policies, policing, and prosecution: many of the participants benefited from belonging to a class and race that is not overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Permanent and public criminal records perpetuate inequities, precluding millions of people from countless opportunities to move on and move up. 


We Are All Criminals questions the wisdom and fairness in those policies. But this goes beyond background checks. It goes beyond how we make choices of who we interview, hire, or to whom we rent. This is about how we view others by how we view ourselves.

Jim Manske's insight:
Fascinating to me.  To see the normally unseen...to name the normally unnamed.  

A childhood Bible story reminds me that we all fall short of perfection.  I remember Jesus saying something like, "Whomever of you is without sin may cast the first stone."

I am innocent, because I have never been convicted.  On a deeper level, I am innocent because I am forgiven.  Even deeper?  I am innocent because I am human.

And you are innocent as well!  We are innocent.  Even if we have been caught, convicted, sentenced, incarcerated, probated and released, we are innocent.

We are all much more alike than we are different.  And we have all got away with something "illegal".  We are all criminals.  We are all innocent.  We are all human.

How does this awareness change our attitude toward "them"? (those who have been caught and punished for something we, too, may have done?)

For me, it deepens my commitment to continue to work toward a restorative system of justice.  A restorative system addresses harm and loss through connection and restoration.  That's the world I want to live in.  In that world, I am more willing to own my "crimes" and restore connection with those who suffer as a result of my actions.  In that world, I live and practice self-responsibility, and I am very careful about every law I write or accept.  As Robert Anton Wilson said, "every law creates a new group of criminals."


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

Project to get Peer Mediation in every school launched | Scoop News

Project to get Peer Mediation in every school launched | Scoop News | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
At midday on 7 July at www.givealittle.co.nz/project/peacefoundation , the Peace Foundation launches its most important project in 41 years with the goal to fund the expansion of its flagship Peer Mediation Programmes for primary, secondary an
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Jim Manske
Scoop.it!

The “new” Global Campaign for Peace Education: pursuing intentional, sustained and systematic education for peace

The “new” Global Campaign for Peace Education: pursuing intentional, sustained and systematic education for peace | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
The Peace Education Initiative at The University of Toledo
Jim Manske's insight:
One of the old gospel songs proclaims, "I ain't gonna study war no more!"  The making life more wonderful alternative? Teaching Peace!  Peace Studies is blooming around the world both formally (as in the work of the Global Campaign for Peace Education) and informally through the work of hundreds of Nonviolent Communication trainers, Mindfulness coaches and hundreds of other modalities for Speaking and Being Peace.  What can you do today to contribute to more Peace, more Well-Being, and more Happiness?
more...
No comment yet.