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Empathy Rant

December 06, 2008  Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random   1 Comment

There are people who are born with a great amount of empathy, it is what makes them tick.

However, for everyone, not just the predisposed, empathy is a learned trait. As children we learn from our parents.

Empathy, however, as an adult, is directly tied to critical thinking. If you are unable to examine and try to understand an opposing viewpoint, you become that which you despise. Closed. Insular.

You are also incapable of empathy because you simply cannot understand where that person’s viewpoint is coming from because you simple choose to not understand.  And the worse of it all, you are incapable of recognizing what you are doing, the mind closes, the coldness descends.

Empathy fail.

Thus ends my rant. By the way, this was directed at no reader of my blog. Perhaps it was directed at myself as a reminder. Or perhaps reading too much crap is getting to me.

Comments on “Empathy Rant

  1. kimberan December 7, 2008 at 6:08 am

    My observation is kind of opposite. What I mean is what you said is all good. However, as a professional childcare provider all my life and mother of five, it’s my observation that all human beings are born with empathy. Unfortunately, many lose empathy by adulthood because of how they’re brought up and where. Also, I don’t think it’s all about critical thinking. It starts out almost entirely Emotional Instinct and critical thinking is developed throughout childhood. By adulthood, I think critical thinking walks hand in hand with emotional instinct for true empathy. There must be both and both find their way by imagination. If a person has no imagination, he or she cannot imagine his or herself behind anyone else’s eyes. He or she can’t think or feel what that other person does and there is no empathy.

    Anyway, that’s my take on Empathy. Counselor Deanna Troi is probably my favorite female Star Trek character, by the way.

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