Instead of debating the value of empathy, we should be discussing ways to develop it in our cultures. The greater our understanding is of how we respond to the world – empathetically – the more we can develop it consciously. Awareness of our own empathy helps us to clarify our thinking process, the how and why of our beliefs and what we really value. The more we understand what blocks our empathy – the more we expand our field of perception. After all, my ability to see you more clearly is predicated on my ability to see myself accurately.
Empathy does not have to “yield to reason” as so many detractors declare – it needs to integrate with reason to provide deeper and more sustainable approaches to what we face in a very challenging world.
by Louise Altman