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Empathy: What Our Dysfunctional World Needs

January 4, 2017

Our species is capable of great compassion, kindness and tolerance; it is also capable of cruelty, selfishness and hate. Which of these characteristics dominate depends on another characteristic, namely empathy, defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another”. This sharing of feeling could so easily be switched off if the “other” happens to have a different colour, religion or culture.

It is argued that empathy cannot be taught but could happen through our positive non-judgemental interaction with others. We need to listen and to imagine what it is like to be the other. It is always easier to interact with others if they belong to our group, and hence it is easy to empathise with them as they experience sufferings and hardships through life.

 

by Adnan Al-Daini

Source: dissidentvoice.org

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