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  • Tony-TN

    I went to a temple 20 years ago when it was a poor, undeveloped, tin roof temple. At lunch time, guests are always invited to eat a simple meal but so delicious where all are sitting in a circle on the floor. Now, the temple with worshippers help has built a much nice one. Do not know what other internal change is but the lunch still free to guests but the sitting arrangement is different. The head of the temple sitting in a table by himself adjacent A long table where sitting arrangement is by rankings. My point is 20 years ago, we are sharing our life together without ranking. Now, we are not. Even in temple, class is showed. Power is the cause of unhappiness in our world. Ukraine vs Russia; Viet Nam/Philippines vs China; Japan vs China; the rich vs the poor; I do not know power struggle will end. That is why we have wars.

  • archiea

    My question is: would one conclude that empathy can be a learned response, assuming one doesn't have a physiological incapacity for it.

  • Rafael Centenera

    Share your thoughts or insights...empathy is not the problem ... the problem is RECOGNISING EVIL and then dealing with it.

    • MrJack

      Pseudo science such as thinking our brain is anything more than another element of human physiology requires subjective analysis as opposed to objective study, or applied scientific research and development that discovers the actual reality we exist in. The study of cycles of activity within any realm require identifying the real variables, the capability of putting them into perspective, studying the cycles revealing reoccurring variables and those that do not occur on the same frequency in our world where optical and material resolution are far from understanding the simplest of elemental activity around us is difficult to read with any real understanding in a non-axiomic world, One where only Truth passes time.

  • Ann Deaton

    It is amazing to me how helpful recent brain research has been in demonstrating and developing the powerful capacities we humans have. Habit research also supports that the more we practice something, the more we deepen the grooves in our brain, making it easier to access and demonstrate the same behavior another time. As I read the comments here, I'm also reminded that empathy directed towards others is not the whole picture. We can become depleted if we are not also compassionate, caring, and nurturing to ourselves. This polarity---self AND other---is not an either/or proposition. As Barry Johnson and others have demonstrated, managing this polarity by moving fluidly between the two is the key to sustainable success. Choose to care deeply for others, AND also choose to value yourself. --Ann V. Deaton, PhD, PCC, Leadership and Team Coach

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Here's to Empathy in all its forms; listening, caring, extending kindness to Everyone Everyday! I'm grateful knowing more & more people are once again realizing being Empathetic is the way to go. I'm a full-time freelance Cause-focused Storyteller. This means I both collect & share stories Traditional & True that focus on our Shared Humanity. In 2005, I sold my home & most possessions to create/facilitate a volunteer literacy project. It was/ is a lot of Listening to Understand in order to best serve & share my skill set. I've learned so much about the value of putting myself in someone else's shoes. Let us all see ourselves in the other & the other in ourselves, realizing there is No Other. Hugs from my heart to yours. PS. I never leave home without my Free Hugs sign & in the last several years seek out homeless or people who were hurting (example at the March for Justice for Treyvon.Martin) or after Super storm Sandy going house to house in Far Rockaway neighborhood in NyC. If you ever need a hug, let me know!

  • michbrinson

    Empathy seems to be something that is more rare these days. Our culture is so focused on self... which breeds selfishness. It gets harder and harder to think outside of "self" and put yourself in someone else's shoes. I'm grateful that while I may not have completely mastered this, God has built me to be empathetic... to a fault, actually. As a professional writer, aka nonprofit storyteller, this is an invaluable trait that makes me very good at what I do, but emotionally drains the life out of me. It seems in this case, there is science to support what those of us who are naturally inclined to be empathetic feel on a daily basis. There is so much value in being kind, loving others, extending grace, being compassionate, caring. It's less about self and more about others. I know if I spend too much time thinking about me... I get sad, depressed, disconnected. But if I can take my eyes off my own situation, think about the people I see, walk past, notice every day... I start to look at my own situation with different eyes. It changes my perspective. I become more grateful, happier, joyful... and not because my situation has changed... but because I know I'm not alone in this world. May more and more people find value in how just one person's act of kindness can change our world. Peace!

    • OverlyEmpathetic

      I couldn't agree or empathize with you more. I, too, work in the nonprofit/social good world and gravitate more to the 'stories' rather than the 'numbers' (impact v. output). I also feel my "empathy to a fault" has been my downfall when it comes to love and being betrayed in a relationship. I was cheated on and lied to by a man I was in love with. While I knew it wasn't my fault for his actions, he has deeper issues including low self-esteem and a propensity of selfishness. I still felt strongly about him and wanted him to know he was worthy of being loved - which he didn't believe he was on many levels. While this man hurt me deeply, I still wanted him to get "better" and feel what it's like to truly have strong feelings for another and yourself.

      In a flipped situation, when I recently ended a very short relationship with a man, he became heartbroken and tried to reconcile with me despite the fact I don't have the same feelings as him. However, I completely empathize knowing what his pain feels like because i've been there. I can't re-engage as it will only give him false hope, but I so want to make his pain go away.

      Finally, it's been helpful to talk to others in similar situations and not feel alone in this world. Getting advice or feedback from these people is more meaningful because I know they are in the same space as I. Those acts of kindness, the advice and feedback, are valuable both in giving it and receiving it.

  • DrEMcCoy

    I've noticed that actually doing empathy, for example in the service of another, produces helpful "feedback" in the form of a genuine relationship. Volunteer institutions are a pkace to start. No expensive neuro-machinery is required. No interpretation or analysis by an expert observer. No distracting mirror. Just someone's need and my existential response. AMAZING!

  • DoingGoodTogether

    We often say it's important to "exercise your kindness muscles." Empathy experiments such as this prove that such "muscles" really to exist, and we can have profound impact on society when we collectively change our individual selves for the better.