As we get started with this six week class, I want you to be aware that the inspiration for it came from an article called “Six Habits of Highly Empathic People” by Roman Krznaric. Each of the six themes, what I will post and summarize on each of the next six Sundays, is one of these habits (or adapted slightly from it).
To kick things off, Krznaric suggests that to build empathy we need to cultivate curiosity about strangers. He says, “Curiosity expands our empathy when we talk to people outside our usual social circle, encountering lives and worldviews very different from our own.”
To do this, I suggest completing a spontaneous kind act for a stranger each day this week. These are fairly easy to perform as opportunities to do so are being presented to us any time we encounter another person. They can be as simple as a smile. But that’s just to get started.
To really get at the concept of this theme, plan in advance and then perform one slightly larger kind act for someone you do not know. And your action needs to include you interacting with this person in a way that helps you get to know her/him. I encourage you to put your heart into the action and let the act of doing so warm you.
Ready to play?