The Limits of Empathy

Why do we feel more empathy for those who are most like us?

Have you ever wondered why when a tragedy occurs close to your home, or community, that it is much easier to feel strongly than when a similar event happens far away, or to people who seem ‘different’?

For example, many people have questioned why in the West, we readily change our facebook profile pictures, or post passionately on social media about our grief, outrage and anger when a terrorist attack happens somewhere familiar like Paris, or Florida. Yet, when a similar outrage occurs claiming as many or more victims in Baghdad, or Syria, we remain silent.


By Azriel Re’Shel & Mark Heley