Empathy leads to healing and resolution, in place of conflict.
In the UK, there has been a lot of publicity lately for the idea of ‘restorative justice.’ As part of this process, offenders are brought face to face with the victims of their crimes, to hear how they have suffered as a result of them. The aim of restorative justice is healing, both for victim and offender.
this highlights the enormous significance of empathy. To a large extent, all human brutality – all oppression, cruelty and most crime – is the result of a lack of empathy. It’s a lack of empathy which makes someone capable of attacking, robbing, raping or oppressing another human being. It’s a lack of empathy for another tribe or country which makes warfare and conflict possible. It’s a lack of empathy towards other ethnic groups, social classes or castes which makes oppression and inequality possible.
By Steve Taylor