Less Sympathy, More Empathy


The problem is that by approaching this as a question of sympathy it’s all about how the speaker thinks the world should work, and the speaker’s frustration that the world’s not working that way…..



Empathy helps us see the challenge from different perspectives. It lets us consider why those who oppose our noble efforts might see things differently, better understand their concerns, and perhaps identify opportunities to solve problems together. By abandoning sweeping proclamations for specific queries, it allows us to isolate opportunities for agreement and the more limited number of places where we’ll need to have the knock-down, drag-out fights. Empathy is ultimately the difference between cage-busters who implode amidst endless battles and those who, studying their Sun-Tzu, operate with determination and deliberation.


by Education policy maven Rick Hess of the Conservative American Enterprise Institute think tank.