Recently, our country has suffered devastating natural disasters and unspeakable tragedies. Yet, in the midst of chaos and destruction, we saw the best of human nature respond when people reached out to help complete strangers.
Empathy is the ability to place ourselves in the position of another and respond with compassion. Could a deeper capacity for empathy lay the foundation for solving some of our most dire problems?
Here are 10 powerful and thought-provoking quotes about empathy to ponder:
“Empathy is the most mysterious transaction that the human soul can have, and it’s accessible to all of us, but we have to give ourselves the opportunity to identify, to plunge ourselves in a story where we see the world from the bottom up or through another’s eyes or heart.” – Sue Monk Kidd
“I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.” Roger Ebert
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” – Mohsin Hamid
“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” – Marcus Aurelius
“Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.” – Daniel H. Pink
“I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.” – Maya Angelou
“When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.” – Susan Sarandon
“A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain.” – Daniel Goleman
“At a person-to-person level, I think that there’s always something to be said for having some empathy for the folks who really, really disagree with you about a given topic.” – J. D. Vance
What problems and disagreements could having more empathy solve?
Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash