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December 14th, 2015

Empathy is at the heart of real rationality, because it goes to the heart of our values, which are the basis of our sense of justice. Empathy is the reason we have the principles of freedom and fairness, which are necessary components of justice. – George Lakoff

By Ron Nakamoto

I found Roman Krznaric's essay below to be a compelling argument for what he identifies as "cognitive empathy or ‘perspective-taking’ empathy, where you focus on imagining what it’s like to be another person, with their beliefs, experiences, hopes, fears and views of the world." To me, Krznaric is framing empathy as a vital skill to be taught and learned. This reminds me also of the values work that we've gradually incorporated into our more recent (and, in my opinion, more advanced) Empowered Wealth thinking and training.

Within The Empowered Wealth Mindset, one is always in learning mode. Empathy and values represent for me a significant learning opportunity and challenge.
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Originally shared by +Ron Nakamoto

We need to teach empathy skills to young people so that they develop the deep sense of social and ecological justice that will motivate them to be active citizens…Filling their heads with a list of moral rules from religious texts or rationalist writings isn’t enough. Empathy, especially its cognitive form, is one of the most powerful ways we have of escaping the boundaries of our egoistic concerns, changing our values, and inspiring social action – Roman Krznaric

Welcome to the Empathy Wars, by Roman Krznaric
Critics of empathy call it biased, saying we should unemotionally help the greatest number. But Roman Krznaric suggests two kinds of empathy: ‘affective’ — feeling or mirroring others’ emotions, and ‘perspective-taking’ empathy — imagining oneself in someone else’s shoes. He gives examples of how they can work together, from sympathetic focus on a child caught in a mineshaft (affective) to the abolition of slavery (putting oneself in someone e…

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