“We typically assume empathy happens at the level of individuals, but highly empathic people understand that empathy can also be a mass phenomenon that brings about fundamental social change.”
So says Roman Krznaric in his article “Six Habits of Highly Empathic People,” what inspired the idea for this class. In fact, each of Krznaric’s defined six habits is forming the basis for each weekly theme in this class, and we’ve arrived at Week 5
In the article, Krznaric references how abolitionists gained the support of more people by telling of the plight of the people sold into slavery. And he says that unions grew out of people understanding the challenges others were having in securing decent working conditions and fair wages.
So to honor this week’s theme you are asked to do something that will inspire change in others. As you contemplate what this means to you, I encourage you to think creatively. You can inspire change by being a quiet role model and you can inspire change by being a flag-waving activist. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it resonates with your core values.
I have been in a very unique position this last month as our grandson got into trouble at school. His parents are free thinkers, for lack of a better word. They do not impose many rules on their children compared to what my husband and I did with our kids. I have been somewhat uncomfortable with their lack of rules and structure – no set meal times, no set bedtime, no limits on computer use, etc. I have been so pleased that my daughter-in-law has turned to me to discuss the process they are going through as a family and has listened to my thoughts. I have tried very hard not to criticize their parenting in the past and certainly not now, but I feel I can share the reasons why we thought rules were good for ou kids. It has been a very loving and caring time period as I support their parenting style while at the same time encouraging them to make some changes that they now think might help their son understand the consequences of his actions. I feel really close to my daughter-in-law as my son has been most upset by the reaction of “society” to his son’s behavior and is quite defensive. Interesting times to assist just a bit in their making some subtle and loving changes.