Empathic Kindness Theme 6 – Empathize With Your “Enemies”

EK-006aIn Roman Krznaric’s article “Six Habits of Highly Empathic People” that inspired the idea for this class, his 6th habit is actually “Develop an ambitious imagination.” As he describes this, however, he talks about the importance of stepping into the shoes of those with whom we may disagree on an issue. As such, I’m reformulating this concept into this week’s theme, the final in our six week class.

I purposely put the word “enemies” in quotes as it is such a strong word to use. I intend for it to mean anyone with whom we have a fundamental disagreement on a topic. I harken back to a class I once facilitated for high schoolers on the political process in 2004. A student was struggling to understand the platform of George W. Bush and I encouraged her to come to class with the mindset of being a supporter. She succeeded at this because she was spent time imagining herself campaigning for Bush. So empathizing, she developed a greater understanding of the election.