Humanity 101 - empathy

Empathy in their words...

 

We live in the so-called 'first world,' and we may be first in a lot of things like technology, but we are behind in empathy.

Javier Bardem

 

To embrace suffering culminates in greater empathy, the capacity to feel what it is like for the other to suffer, which is the ground for unsentimental compassion and love.

Stephen Batchelor, Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

 

Education leads to enlightenment. Enlightenment opens the way to empathy. Empathy foreshadows reform.

Derrick A. Bell, Faces At The Bottom Of The Well: The Permanence Of Racism

 

Empathy needs no genius.

Toba Beta, Betelgeuse Incident

 

One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient. In fact, a man convinced of his virtue even in the midst of his vice is the worst kind of man.

Charles M. Blow

 

Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy.

C. JoyBell C.

Also:

I think people believe empathy to be compassion, that compassion is an inner sense (a sense of the soul). But empathy is a sense, while compassion isn't a sense. Empathy is an affinity, a communion, a comprehension. They say that empathy is compassion, but I think that the two are independent of each other. You see, through empathy you will feel what another is feeling, including all those plans for manipulation and persuasion. You will feel everything, not just the parts that make you take compassion for the person, but also all the red flags! You see, empathy is a sense that works with the other senses such as foresight and intuition. So, we can feel compassion but we have to move with empathy.

 

But reading, and particularly the reading of fiction, encourages us to view the world in new and challenging ways...It allows us to inhabit the consciousness of another which is a precursor to empathy, and empathy is, for me, one of the marks of a decent human being.

John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

 

Surely one didn't need to have suffered in order to possess empathy for those who had? All it required was a bit of imagination and a well-stocked library.

Michelle Cooper, The FitzOsbornes in Exile

 

Empathy takes time, and efficiency is for things, not people.

Stephen Covey

 

And if we cease to see the real human part in events--if instead, we relegate human experiences to some sort of mystical concept like karma, destiny or everything happens for a reason, and consider more realistic views to be negative--then we diminish compassion and empathy, as well as the possibility of positive change.

Jane Devin, Elephant Girl: A Human Story

 

I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.

Roger Ebert

That's one of the great feelings - to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue.

Brian Eno

 

Change begins with understanding and understanding begins by identifying oneself with another person: in a word, empathy. The arts enable us to put ourselves in the minds, eyes, ears and hearts of other human beings.

Richard Eyre

 

You don't have to accept the invitation to get angry. Instead, practice forgiveness, empathy and encouragement.

Dan Fallon

 

True contentment comes with empathy.

Tim Finn

 

There are many respects in which America, if it can bring itself to act with the magnanimity and the empathy appropriate to its size and power, can be an intelligent example to the world.

J. William Fulbright

 

Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion.

Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

Also:

If you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.

There is zero correlation between IQ and emotional empathy... They're controlled by different parts of the brain.

 

Learning a foreign language, and the culture that goes with it, is one of the most useful things we can do to broaden the empathy and imaginative sympathy and cultural outlook of children.

Michael Gove

 

Women are, in my view, natural peacemakers. As givers and nurturers of life, through their focus on human relationships and their engagement with the demanding work of raising children and protecting family life, they develop a deep sense of empathy that cuts through to underlying human realities.

Daisaku Ikeda

 

I allow my empathy to be engaged, and once it is - because my feelings help teach me what my values are - I'm on the path for which there is no return. I am inexorably an advocate when I allow my empathy to be engaged.

Ashley Judd

 

Good fiction creates empathy. A novel takes you somewhere and asks you to look through the eyes of another person, to live another life.

Barbara Kingsolver

 

Only by examining our personal biases can we truly grow as artists; only by cultivating empathy can we truly grow as people.

Jen Knox

 

Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.

Dean Koontz

 

One reason we rush so quickly to the vulgar satisfactions of judgment, and love to revel in our righteous outrage, is that it spares us from the impotent pain of empathy, and the harder, messier work of understanding.

Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing

 

Traits like humility, courage, and empathy are easily overlooked - but it's immensely important to find them in your closest relationships.

Laura Linney

 

There is no greater intelligence than kindness and empathy.

Bryant McGill, Voice of Reason

Also: 

When someone is suffering, there is a deep, visceral reaction in the core of our being, a flood of empathy and a frightfully desperate compulsion to give aid.

 

Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn.

Alice Miller

 

Good politics starts with empathy, proceeds to analysis, then sets out values and establishes the vision, before getting to the nitty-gritty of policy solutions.

David Miliband

 

It is not learning we need at all. Individuals need learning but the culture needs something else, the pulse of light on the sea, the warm urge of huddling together to keep out the cold. We need empathy, we need the eyes that still can weep.

Lydia Millet, Oh Pure and Radiant Heart

 

The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy.

Mehmet Oz

 

I don't believe that children are born with empathy. It is something they learn by seeing it modeled by others.

Jacqui Rivait

 

You need to have so much empathy you could almost encourage empathy in others.

Patrick Rothfuss

 

The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles and real state, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love and faith.

Bertrand Russell

 

Loss of empathy might well be the most enduring and deep-cutting scar of all, the silent blade of an unseen enemy, tearing at our hearts and stealing more than our strength.

R.A. Salvatore, The Silent Blade

 

I think I'm an actor because I have very strong imagination and empathy. I never studied acting, but those two qualities are exactly the qualities that make for an activist.

Susan Sarandon

Also:

When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.

 

The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other.

Meryl Streep

 

I sometimes try to imagine what would have happened if we’d known the bonobo first and the chimpanzee only later—or not at all. The discussion about human evolution might not revolve as much around violence, warfare and male dominance, but rather around sexuality, empathy, caring and cooperation. What a different intellectual landscape we would occupy!

Frans de Waal, Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are

 

There is absolutely no single aspect of one’s personality that is more important to develop than empathy, which is not a skill at which men typically are asked to excel. I believe empathy is not only the core of art, literature and music, but should also be at the core of society, from ethics to economics.

Chris Ware

 

Indeed, insight is the true hallmark of empathy. The power of true empathy is its ability to give us a fresh understanding of the other person's emotions and thoughts to illuminate an aspect of their experience that would not have been apparent to us had we not stepped into their shoes.

Guy Winch

 

Familiarity is the gateway drug to empathy.

Io Tillett Wright