The Empathy Revolution [Let us Reach out across Space & Time]
Know thyself to get along with others better
We are not the self-interested creature with selfish genes that many have lead us to believe. According to the latest science we are all born highly emphatic. And it’s a skill that we can train all our life. Get to know your inner self to see what masks you are wearing and how you play the Great Masquerade.
I stumbled upon a RSA Animate that I have missed from last years RSA events. RSA Animate – The Power of Outrospection. And the full audio Podcast. It’s with Roman Krznaric who talks about how we can get more Empathy in our society. Here it is at the RSA: The Six Habits of Highly Empathic People
Train your Empathizing skills
Yes! It is possible and you should do some of this exercises every week. Also check out this Article about it: Six Habits of Highly Empathic People.
Habit 1: Cultivate curiosity about strangers
Highly emphatic people (HEPs) have an insatiable curiosity about strangers. Challenge yourself to have an interesting conversation each week with a stranger.
Habit 2: Challenge prejudices and discover commonalities
The fact is that as a Human being you have far more in common than not with every other human being on the planet. Challenge your prejudices by searching for what you share with other people rather than what differs between you. Talk to the Elephant and find Common Ground. Like I discuss in my blog Why are we so Groupish?
Habit 3: Get into “extreme sport” of experimental empathy
Try living another persons life. Try Live Action Role Playing (LARP) as another person that are living in another culture or in a different time. Go live in a village in a different country. Or do a “God Swap” if you are religious.
This is the most rewarding but also the hardest way to train to become a HEP. Here we can also roleplay meeting our own future generations and explain our actions to them. Or just maybe Future ME will have something to say about my own actions today. Go ahead. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself.
“Hello Future Me! What will I think of my actions today?”
Roman Krznaric thinks we should get a Empathy Museum where you can go and have empathy experiences. What is it like to work under sweatshop conditions or in a plantation where they grow our food?
Habit 4: Practice the art of conversation
We must practice and listen to what is really going on emotionally in another persons life. Then we open up and exposes our own personal feelings. Removing our masks. I did this at my latest session in during WebCoast. See it here in Swedish
Habit 5: Inspire mass action and social change
We need make an emphatic mass-change to our whole society. One way to do this is to start with out children. We need to teach them empathy. Talk to them about morality and what consequences our actions and behavior has on others.
Empathy should be at the heart of our Social, Economic and Political decisions. Funny enough this correlates to the three games I came up with in my Game of Life blog. We must change this 3 global games so that “winning” in them means doing good.
Here we are still waiting to see what emerging effects Social Media and The Network Society can have. But if we are to believe thinkers like Don Tapscott it will bring about many exiting changes if we work hard and let it.
Habit 6: Develop an ambitious imagination. Become “Outrospective”
This is the Hardest Challenge of the all. To empathize with the “Enemy”. With those who think differently. We must stop Demonizing them and get under their skin instead. Especially those in Power. If we can understand how the leaders of worlds largest companies and our politicians are thinking we can more easily affect them and make them change course.
Here bureaucracy is a great roadblock to Empathy. And we must think of new ways to get around it.
Working good ethics into the core of companies modus operandi is essential making this world work in the long run. It has already started with companies that does Social Good and with Social Entrepreneurs. But we have a long way to go still.
Teaching our children more Empathy [We can all get better]
If we start early it will be much easier to be good at this skill. Although it is never to late for any of us.
We should be teaching this in every school all over the world. And we should be talking about it in every organization. Practice it on a weekly or daily basis. We must reach out across Space & Time!
What are our core values? And how should we reach them today and tomorrow?