“…We’ve got a budget deficit that’s important, we’ve got a trade deficit
that’s critical, but what I worry most is our empathy deficit.” – Interview
in “O” Magazine with Barack Obama.
Perhaps this is not only a US national concern but a global crisis: people are
dividing into camps and fighting one another with no mention of sitting down to
We, as global human beings living on a shrinking planet, have to stop the
insanity, start talking, and stop the fighting.
The fighting is not only among warring nations. It goes on in corporations,
small businesses, between entrepreneurs, in schools, in neighborhoods, and in
families. There is a lack of talking, listening, and empathizing between people.
This is especially true when they are different from us in some way.
We lose patience with others not like us or not of the same viewpoint. We stop
listening. And consequently, we lose our ability to understand and find
We are missing opportunities for talking and dialoguing about what really
matters. Dialoguing of course means listening and hearing what the other person
is saying. It is not a monologue. It requires more than listening—it requires
Lesson # 1 in Empathy
Empathy has several ingredients. Most people understand empathy to be “walking
in someone else’s shoes.” It is more than that.
Lesson #2 of Empathy
People usually have a tendency to jump in and want to do something to help too
soon. They want to get out of their own discomfort by solving the problem. Often
they don’t take the time to really understand what the real problem is before
Like so much, empathy begins with developing ourselves individually, permeates
our families and is taught to our children, and then must be communicated with
the leaders we entrust to deal with other countries. A continued lack of empathy
will result in global degradation.
The full article includes steps, questions and solutions for creating greater
empathy between people and how this ties in with creating a global environment
for the future.
Here are the order links if you do not have an annual subscription:
[LCM] A Global Empathy Deficit
N04-23a. Text article, 1,000 words, Full Reprint Rights $57, click HERE.
All word lengths are approximate.