Empathy may be one of the most important social skills we learn as humans.
Without it, not only do we fail to understand how our actions affect others, but we also lack the imagination and creativity needed to design tools and communicate our ideas beyond our own communities of like-minded people. Indeed, without some degree of empathy, we may not be able to communicate at all.
And yet, empathy also happens to be one of the most difficult skills to teach, rife as it is with complexity and emotion.
The importance and challenges of teaching empathy have come into renewed focus, thanks in part to bestselling author Dr. Michele Borba’s latest book, “UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.“
Other recent events – ranging from the mass shooting in Orlando, to the firestorm caused by a letter from a rape victim read out loud to her attacker, to the growing global refugee crisis – all test our ability to imagine what it must be like to live in another person’s shoes for a day.