Why George Orwell is my empathy hero | Roman Krznaric

Tell us more about the crucial role of empathy, which I know is a great interest of yours. What should we all keep in mind about empathy?

 

I think we’ve been too obsessed with self-interest over the last century, and that’s limited the way that we pursue the good life. I think that empathy – the ability to try to imagine yourself into someone else’s life, to look through their eyes – can expand our lives enormously. Of course, if you see somebody begging under a bridge you might feel sorry for them or toss them a coin, but that’s not empathy, it’s sympathy or pity. Empathy is when you have a conversation with them, try to understand how they feel about life, what it’s like sleeping outside on a cold winter’s night – try to make a real human connection and see their individuality.