an hour on empathy


Last week, two men met for the first time. After their one-hour conversation, one of the men noted they had spent most of the hour discussing empathy because:

It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars. It’s the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets.

After hearing that, I started to wonder: What if each of us sat down with an acquaintance that we respect for an hour and seriously considered who, within our own personal spheres of influence, deserved more empathy from us?

Our conversations might not prevent world war over the Russian invasion of Crimea or impact the discussion of economics at the next G8 Summit — as could last week’s conversation between Pope Francis and President Obama — but surely following their example would make our world a kinder, gentler place for all of us.

Shabbat shalom,

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