Valuable Vids: RSA Animate on Empathy

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31

“I think it’s impossible to really know someone, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.”
Orson Scott Card

I’ve been learning a lot about empathy lately. Specifically I’ve been learning to empathize with those who disagree with me, to the extent that I recognize why some of them are unwilling or unable to return and favor. I’ve come realize that cognitive empathy–the act of taking on the thought process of another individual–is often a one-way street. Many people I love do not comprehend my lack of faith in their god. And I’m still learning. I don’t always have the imagination necessary to engage the motive that drive people who cling to certain religious doctrines. The result is often sadness on the part of those I love, and frustration on mine.

Empathy hurts, but unlike fear, which leads to savagery, empathy is a gateway to humanity. By humanizing one another we civilize ourselves. When we civilize ourselves we can build a civilization based on the mutually felt vested interest in our collective well-being.

PS–I’m suspending my posts on community. Truth be told, they’ve been in the works for weeks, helped kick off a massive case of writer’s block, and have kept me silent for far too long. I’ll post them eventually, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the Valuable Vid.

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