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How To Save The World With Empathy

How To Save The World With Empathy | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it

The idea of empathy has sparked a lot of interest in recent years, especially with the discovery that humans are neurologically wired to feel it. It is one thing to be aware of the concept of empathy and quite another to understand the importance of it in bringing about positive changes – not just on an individual level. Empathy isn’t just about “being nice”; it has the potential to change human interaction on a mass, collective scale.

 

1. Resolving The Big Conflicts

 

Think about the major social conflicts around the world – debates over LGBT rights, religious intolerance, feminism – how many of those could be alleviated if there was more of an effort to understand the motivations and values of the opposing side? Empathy may not provide a clear-cut solution, but listening to others in order to consider the circumstances from their point of view could help individuals realise that other people’s beliefs are as important as their own, thus promoting respect, fairness and a greater capacity for peaceful coexistence.

 

In this respect, there have been some fantastic efforts at empathising. For example, despite being brought up in a conservative, Christian environment, Timothy Kurekwent out of his way to empathise with the gay community by pretending to be gay for a year; in an interview, he revealed: “I was taught that gays and lesbians were sinners, that homosexuality was abominable and that gay people couldn’t be Christians…I tried to convert any gay people I met. In fact, I had a childhood friend who came out of the closet and his mother phoned me, asking me to save him by preaching at him. He ended up becoming one of my best friends…The fact is, in my previous state, there was no way I was going to listen to gay people.”

 

There are also efforts to resolve religious conflicts, such as Hello Peace, a telephone service that gives Arabs and Jews an opportunity to talk to those “on the other side” about reconciliation, tolerance and peace. In terms of women’s rights, take a look at this short film that depicts a sexist society in which men are the discriminated gender. Empathy has even contributed to the abolition of slavery in the UK during the late 1780s.

 

2. Patients Are People, Not Just Broken Bodies

 

Empathy in healthcare providers is particularly important to promote patient recovery. Many studies have shown that empathetic doctors are associated with more positive outcomes for their patients. This touching video on empathy, shared by CEO Toby Cosgrove, MD with the Cleveland Clinic staff, highlights the idea that patient care cannot be reduced to the simple healing of tissue damage, but must take into consideration other aspects of the patient’s life.

 

3. What About The Environment?

 

Empathy in terms of environmental issues does not mean you need to empathise with a tree! Rather, it involves empathising with the people of the future. It may be difficult to imagine the situation for those who have yet to exist, and it is reason that tells us that the welfare of future generations must be taken into account to ensure the survival of our species. BUT, it may be that putting ourselves in the shoes of the future generation can effectively inspire us to clean up our act and to make use of sustainable energy sources.

 

Okay, So Empathy IS Important…But What Happens Next?

 

A lot has been said on why empathy matters, but less on how to go about increasing empathy levels in society. Roman Krznaric advocates the idea of an Empathy Revolution, which is a revolution not in the traditional sense of overthrowing laws and governments, but a revolution in human interaction. The ingredients for such a revolution include training our youth on being empathetic, meeting different people to challenge our prejudices and stereotypes, harnessing the power of social networking and so on.

 

There is also the issue of why some people respond to certain tragedies but not to others – long term and large scale issues such as starvation, lack of education and income inequality seem to be ignored in comparison to the murders and scandals that make it to newspaper headlines. A way to combat the lack of empathy may be to provide for the target audience an identifiable victim. As the economist Thomas Schelling noted: “Let a six-year-old girl with brown hair need thousands of dollars for an operation that will prolong her life until Christmas, and the post office will be swamped with nickels and dimes to save her. But let it be reported that without a sales tax the hospital facilities of Massachusetts will deteriorate and cause a barely perceptible increase in preventable deaths—not many will drop a tear or reach for their check-books.”

 

Still, It’s Impossible To Empathise With 7 Billion Strangers!!

 

While extending our sense of compassion from the close circle of our friends and family to the rest of humanity is certainly an achievement, it is inevitably impossible to empathise with strangers to the same extent as those who you regularly interact with. The point is to cultivate the notion that even if we cannot completely empathise with people on the other side of the world, their lives are just as valuable as the lives of our loved ones. Rationality isn’t enough – after all, psychopaths can recognise what decisions society would deem as “morally correct”; they simply have no incentive to choose that option. Ultimately it is empathy which ignites a sense of concern for others other than ourselves that is crucial to bringing about action that will lead to humanity’s progress, for the better.


Via Jim Manske
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:

Ultimately it is empathy with others than ourselves that is bringing about action that will lead to humanity's progress ... what an important thought to hold dear.

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Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from Leadership and Spirituality
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Breathe with Me. ~ Toby Israel

Breathe with Me. ~ Toby Israel | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
I stopped trying to do everything at once, and focused on doing one thing at a time. Sometimes, that thing would be breathing.

Via Ivon Prefontaine
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:

Beautiful and simple!

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, September 8, 2014 7:14 PM

Taking and expelling a breath is an important part of being and becoming who we are in each ensuing moment.

 

@ivon_ehd1

Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from Mindful Leadership & Intercultural Communication
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How Self-Compassion Beats Rumination

How Self-Compassion Beats Rumination | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it

A new study suggests that self-compassion improves mood, largely by helping us avoid negative rumination.


Via Jenny Ebermann
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:

it's not rocket science, it's common sense!

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, September 3, 2014 7:39 PM

We are often our harshest critic. Imagine what this means in School with students and teachers?

 

@ivon_ehd1

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When the Heart is Full of Love There is no Place for Hatred

When the Heart is Full of Love There is no Place for Hatred | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
“ 9.7.14 To our friends, I have already been sitting for an hour, staring at the empty word page and not finding words that would describe the pain – the pain of those of us who see straight.”
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:
Words fail to describe the tragedy that is unfolding!
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Why Aren't We Awesomer?: Michael Neill at TEDxBend - YouTube

Michael Neill is a coach, adviser, friend, mentor, and creative spark plug to celebrities, CEOs and royalty from the United Nations and five continents aroun...
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:
It is a pleasure and a joy to watch Michael talk about the 3 Principles! ..... and you'll learn something in the process .... brilliant!
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Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from iGeneration - 21st Century Education (Pedagogy & Digital Innovation)
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A Wonderful Poster on Failure

A Wonderful Poster on Failure | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:
It's the same old: There is no such thing as a failulre. Everything is feedback. Oh, that reminds me not to be so hard on myself when I get my transcript for my new book back from my editor!
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Cancer child's secret message on back of her mirror found by dad after she died

Cancer child's secret message on back of her mirror found by dad after she died | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
Athena, 12, wrote: 'Maybe it’s not about the happy ending, maybe it’s about the story'

Via Jan Bergmans
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:

Amazing

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Jan Bergmans's curator insight, June 10, 2014 6:06 AM

espite these traumas, Athena’s note showed an unshakably positive outlook on life.

She wrote: “Happiness depends upon ourselves.

“Maybe it’s not about the happy ending, maybe it’s about the story.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”

Dean, 33, said: “It was a stand-up mirror in her room, and it was always leaned up against the wall so we never saw behind it.

“She never mentioned it, but it’s the kind of thing she’d do.

“She was a very spiritual person. She’d go on about stuff that I could never understand - she was so clever.


http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/cancer-childs-secret-message-back-3644198#ixzz34EHuE6lY
Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from This Gives Me Hope
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Real-Life Love Stories That Will Banish Your Inner Cynic (Video)

Real-Life Love Stories That Will Banish Your Inner Cynic (Video) | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
All too often, we walk around in a jaded mindset about life--here are two stories that might just change your mind.

Via Cathryn Wellner
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Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from A Change in Perspective
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Using Your Monkey Mind to Redirect Negative Thoughts

Using Your Monkey Mind to Redirect Negative Thoughts | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it

It’s so much easier to keep the mind moving along a creative path than it is to try and shut out negative thoughts. Who knows what you’ll come up with?


Via Bobby Dillard
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:

Monkey mind - what a lovely idea! Let's use it well !

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Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from Unplug
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Silence, Please

Silence, Please | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
Untangle your life to stay in touch with your creative self.

Via craig daniels
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:

The  quiet mind opens the door to wisdom and well-being.

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craig daniels's curator insight, June 16, 2014 10:55 AM

Please believe me when I tell you unplugging will help you reconnect with not only other people but also with yourself...


The simplicity awaits you...


Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, June 16, 2014 12:17 PM

We live in such a busy and noisy world we do not always realize the need for silence and slowing down. This can be integrated into classroom schedules for students and teachers.

Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from Living Mindfulness & Compassion
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Mindful Discipline for Kids

Mindful Discipline for Kids | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
Psychologist Shauna Shapiro explains how parents can combine firm boundaries with loving connection.

Via Brenda Bentley
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Brenda Bentley's curator insight, June 17, 2014 1:51 PM

#mindfulness #mindful #discipline #children #kids

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Top 3 Reasons to Try Mindfulness: For the Children's Sake and Yours

Top 3 Reasons to Try Mindfulness: For the Children's Sake and Yours | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
Practicing mindfulness meditation creates a steady, calm space so that what used to overwhelm me is far more manageable. I understand from my own observation that what I am feeling in the moment is like a passing cloud....

Via Bobby Dillard
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How To Save The World With Empathy

How To Save The World With Empathy | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it

The idea of empathy has sparked a lot of interest in recent years, especially with the discovery that humans are neurologically wired to feel it. It is one thing to be aware of the concept of empathy and quite another to understand the importance of it in bringing about positive changes – not just on an individual level. Empathy isn’t just about “being nice”; it has the potential to change human interaction on a mass, collective scale.

 

1. Resolving The Big Conflicts

 

Think about the major social conflicts around the world – debates over LGBT rights, religious intolerance, feminism – how many of those could be alleviated if there was more of an effort to understand the motivations and values of the opposing side? Empathy may not provide a clear-cut solution, but listening to others in order to consider the circumstances from their point of view could help individuals realise that other people’s beliefs are as important as their own, thus promoting respect, fairness and a greater capacity for peaceful coexistence.

 

In this respect, there have been some fantastic efforts at empathising. For example, despite being brought up in a conservative, Christian environment, Timothy Kurekwent out of his way to empathise with the gay community by pretending to be gay for a year; in an interview, he revealed: “I was taught that gays and lesbians were sinners, that homosexuality was abominable and that gay people couldn’t be Christians…I tried to convert any gay people I met. In fact, I had a childhood friend who came out of the closet and his mother phoned me, asking me to save him by preaching at him. He ended up becoming one of my best friends…The fact is, in my previous state, there was no way I was going to listen to gay people.”

 

There are also efforts to resolve religious conflicts, such as Hello Peace, a telephone service that gives Arabs and Jews an opportunity to talk to those “on the other side” about reconciliation, tolerance and peace. In terms of women’s rights, take a look at this short film that depicts a sexist society in which men are the discriminated gender. Empathy has even contributed to the abolition of slavery in the UK during the late 1780s.

 

2. Patients Are People, Not Just Broken Bodies

 

Empathy in healthcare providers is particularly important to promote patient recovery. Many studies have shown that empathetic doctors are associated with more positive outcomes for their patients. This touching video on empathy, shared by CEO Toby Cosgrove, MD with the Cleveland Clinic staff, highlights the idea that patient care cannot be reduced to the simple healing of tissue damage, but must take into consideration other aspects of the patient’s life.

 

3. What About The Environment?

 

Empathy in terms of environmental issues does not mean you need to empathise with a tree! Rather, it involves empathising with the people of the future. It may be difficult to imagine the situation for those who have yet to exist, and it is reason that tells us that the welfare of future generations must be taken into account to ensure the survival of our species. BUT, it may be that putting ourselves in the shoes of the future generation can effectively inspire us to clean up our act and to make use of sustainable energy sources.

 

Okay, So Empathy IS Important…But What Happens Next?

 

A lot has been said on why empathy matters, but less on how to go about increasing empathy levels in society. Roman Krznaric advocates the idea of an Empathy Revolution, which is a revolution not in the traditional sense of overthrowing laws and governments, but a revolution in human interaction. The ingredients for such a revolution include training our youth on being empathetic, meeting different people to challenge our prejudices and stereotypes, harnessing the power of social networking and so on.

 

There is also the issue of why some people respond to certain tragedies but not to others – long term and large scale issues such as starvation, lack of education and income inequality seem to be ignored in comparison to the murders and scandals that make it to newspaper headlines. A way to combat the lack of empathy may be to provide for the target audience an identifiable victim. As the economist Thomas Schelling noted: “Let a six-year-old girl with brown hair need thousands of dollars for an operation that will prolong her life until Christmas, and the post office will be swamped with nickels and dimes to save her. But let it be reported that without a sales tax the hospital facilities of Massachusetts will deteriorate and cause a barely perceptible increase in preventable deaths—not many will drop a tear or reach for their check-books.”

 

Still, It’s Impossible To Empathise With 7 Billion Strangers!!

 

While extending our sense of compassion from the close circle of our friends and family to the rest of humanity is certainly an achievement, it is inevitably impossible to empathise with strangers to the same extent as those who you regularly interact with. The point is to cultivate the notion that even if we cannot completely empathise with people on the other side of the world, their lives are just as valuable as the lives of our loved ones. Rationality isn’t enough – after all, psychopaths can recognise what decisions society would deem as “morally correct”; they simply have no incentive to choose that option. Ultimately it is empathy which ignites a sense of concern for others other than ourselves that is crucial to bringing about action that will lead to humanity’s progress, for the better.


Via Jim Manske
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:

Ultimately it is empathy with others than ourselves that is bringing about action that will lead to humanity's progress ... what an important thought to hold dear.

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The science of compassion: Dr. James Doty at TEDxUNPlaza

View more talks at www.TEDxUNPlaza.com James R. Doty, M.D. is the founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at St...
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Breath: Our Best Bad*ss Friend. ~ Sarah Diedrick

Breath: Our Best Bad*ss Friend. ~ Sarah Diedrick | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
Stay wrapped up in the embrace of your breath. Feel it comb through your body. Is it burning yet?

Via Ivon Prefontaine
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:

For those who struggle to clear their mind - focus on your breath!

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, September 9, 2014 12:25 PM

Breathing is a way to slow the body and mind down focusing on the moment we are in.

 

@ivon_ehd1

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Heavenly Human Love - Dr. Sircus

Heavenly Human Love - Dr. Sircus | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
“Love is the heavenly force that binds all as one, two as one, three as one and so on. Human loves are absolutely necessary as steps toward the divine. Love is the power that closes the circuit between beings. There is nothing more beautiful than true love,nothing more needed, nothing more hoped for. Love is [...]”
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:
Having just written my book on 'Delicious Love Forever" and waiting for the editing to be done, reading other people's ideas that come close to my own thoughts, is a joy and very uplifting. The message of Love is worth spreading, over and over again!
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Why Aren't We Awesomer?: Michael Neill at TEDxBend - YouTube

Michael Neill is a coach, adviser, friend, mentor, and creative spark plug to celebrities, CEOs and royalty from the United Nations and five continents aroun...
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:
It is a pleasure and a joy to watch Michael talk about the 3 Principles! ..... and you'll learn something in the process .... brilliant!
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Why Aren't We Awesomer?: Michael Neill at TEDxBend - YouTube

Michael Neill is a coach, adviser, friend, mentor, and creative spark plug to celebrities, CEOs and royalty from the United Nations and five continents aroun...
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:
It is a pleasure and a joy to watch Michael talk about the 3 Principles! ..... and you'll learn something in the process .... brilliant!
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Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from Positive Health and You Being-Well
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A Spiral Model of Change

A Spiral Model of Change | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
“ Designing change can be following the whorl of a shell more than the steps of a pyramid.”
Via John Lasschuit ®™, Bobby Dillard, Randy Bauer
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:
Although this is an article about organisational change in a business environment, I thought it might apply beautifully for people changing their experience. Being open to new thoughts, new ideas, new ways of seeing the world, bringing in new and further ideas all the time .... a wonderful way of seeing the expansion of knowledge and staying with the process of constant new learning!
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Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from Healing Practices
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Feel Overwhelmed? Take a Breath

Feel Overwhelmed? Take a Breath | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
This little practice cultivates a compassionte stance toward oneself and calms negative thinking before it starts.

Via Fuller Life Family Therapy
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Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from Psicología Positiva, Felicidad y Bienestar. Positive Psychology,Happiness & Wellbeing
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The Critical Importance of Kindness

The Critical Importance of Kindness | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
Science says lasting relationships come down to—you guessed it—kindness and generosity.

Via Margarita Tarragona
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:

Common Sense! How to make a relationship last - it's not rocket science and it doesn't take 13 steps or other strategies that are taught! All it takes is something that each of us (hopefully) already knows how to do. KINDNESS! 

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Margarita Tarragona's curator insight, June 12, 2014 11:36 PM

Lo más importante en las relaciones de pareja: la bondad y la generosidad. Excelente artículo.

Eliane Fierro's curator insight, June 17, 2014 9:33 PM

Excelente!

Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from Radical Compassion
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Hugs Have Healing Power, Study Says

Hugs Have Healing Power, Study Says | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it

Ever wonder why sometimes a hug is all you need? You can't explain it, but there's just something comforting about snuggling up to your spouse after a rough day or giving mom a hug after a long time apart.



Via Jim Manske
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Teaching children mindfulness can build a lifetime of positive emotion - OnMilwaukee.com

Teaching children mindfulness can build a lifetime of positive emotion - OnMilwaukee.com | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
Teaching children mindfulness can build a lifetime of positive emotion OnMilwaukee.com Teaching children mindfulness -- like teaching them math -- provides them a valuable skill and one that that will have practical applications every day of their...
Via Brenda Bentley
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Rescooped by Gudrun Frerichs from ISO Mental Health & Wellness
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Startling Medical Research Results Suggest Air Pollution Is Linked to Autism and Schizophrenia

Startling Medical Research Results Suggest Air Pollution Is Linked to Autism and Schizophrenia | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
A new study found ultrafine particles cause abnormalities in mice's brains similar those in humans with mental disorders.

Via The Writing Goddess
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» How to Find Your Teachers: Listen to the World Around You - World of Psychology

» How to Find Your Teachers: Listen to the World Around You - World of Psychology | Three Principles Based Well-Being | Scoop.it
Get tuned in to your own divine, remarkable, ordinary life right now. Wherever you are, take a moment to close your eyes and listen.

Via Bobby Dillard
Gudrun Frerichs's insight:

Listening inside for the wisdom!

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Sydney Banks - The Equalizer

Philosopher and author Sydney Banks has found something so profound that it is dramatically impacting our world. Psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, te...
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