As of 2001, researchers have discovered a scientific basis for the validity of empathy. The results of these studies show us that specific areas of the brain are capable of mirroring the experience of another individual. Loosely termed “mirror neurons,” these specific brain centers are capable of producing our own emotional experience as well as duplicating a perceived emotional experience.
Despite the “backseat ride” our emotions are given in our patriarchal society, it would seem that, at our core, we are predisposed towards empathic connection. Author and Psychologist Jeremy Rifkin explains that empathy may be our greatest asset in evolving past our tendencies for domination and war. But what does it mean to be empathic?