Saturday, December 12, 2009

But there IS a way to make new people

Train children to have empathy.

Empathy is knowing what others are feeling. Sympathy is agreeing with that feeling. Agreeing is less important. Sometimes it's even dangerous.

The world is perishing because people ignore the feelings - the humanity - of others. We've imbibed too much of the attitudes of wife beaters [and torturers and psycho-killers - not to mention child abusers] from our culture.

One generation, taught kindness and respect by example by their parents, will completely transform the world. DeMause's research shows that those things have been improving at an accelerating pace since the beginning of history. It's not all hopeless.


Starsplash said...

Can't argue to much with that.

The probligo said...

See if you can dig out "Empathy and Moral Development" by Martin L Hoffmann.

I first heard the term "the empathic ape" earlier this year. There is a book published with that title but it seems to concentrate on the lack of empathy apparent in autostic children.

Very interesting, and I must try get hold of De Mause as well.

T. F. Stern said...

I don't know diddly about this' but my gut instinct tells me that children know more about empathy than their parents. My point is that parents can only remove the ability to show empathy, not to instill this character trait...but what do I know.

Al said...

Actually, I'm inclined to agree with that, TF.

LibertyBob said...

If we can just get people to realize that you can empathize with others without agreeing with them or agreeing that they can get away with things that cause harm.

I cringe when I hear that we cannot attack out enemies because we aren't being respectful of their culture. It's easier to be respectful of culture when the shooting is done.

The same applies in high crime areas. Can you damage the subculture if it protects the lives of all involved? Cultures are going to change in time anyway.