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The Importance of Empathy in Everyday Life

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Empathy–the ability to understand the emotional experience of another person–is, not hyperbolically, the beginning step to answering most of the problems we face as a society. We are currently experiencing an era of increased “Othering” in which we are encouraged to see the differences in other people, and not the similarities. And because of those differences we are supposed to fear, resent, hate, and separate ourselves from those who are different. The people who wish to divide us based on fear and hate lack the very human ability to empathize, or are willing to ignore it for the sake of profit and power. Empathy is a natural human ability, a skill that we can foster, practice, and encourage in ourselves and others. An increased ability to empathize will allow us to make decisions for the benefit of other people, even if we do not necessarily benefit from that decision. This great short video breaks down the components of empathy, explains some of the science and biology of where empathy comes from, and details how we can practice and strengthen our empathic abilities.

– Brett Goldberg

Watch the video via Lifehacker.

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