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Why Care? – Empathy Helps Create Healing For Us All

By on September 21, 2014

EMPATHY- Why does it matter?

“Empathy is a building block of morality—for people to follow the Golden Rule, it helps if they can put themselves in someone else’s shoes. It is also a key ingredient of successful relationships because it helps us understand the perspectives, needs, and intentions of others.”

“If you could stand in someone else’s shoes . . . hear what they hear. See what they see. Feel what they feel. Would you treat them differently?”

Watch this video to help understand how we may have no idea what is going on for someone else. It can help us hold a place of compassion and empathy even when we cannot possibily personally understand their experience.

  • Empathy promotes heroic acts: A study found that people who rescued Jews during the Holocaust had been encouraged at a young age to take the perspectives of others.
  • Compassion and empathy are essential human qualities that allow one to feel, understand, and respond to the suffering of others. They enable individuals to enter into and maintain relationships of caring. The word compassion comes from Latin and means “to bear with” or “to suffer with.”
  • Empathy is good for health care: A large-scale study found that doctors high in empathy have patients who enjoy better health.  
  • Empathy fights inequality.
  • Empathy reduces bullying.
  • Empathy derives from a Greek root word meaning, “in feeling” or “feeling into.” … It is a deep appreciation for what it is truly like to be in the other’s situation from his or her perspective. Empathy requires an openness to receiving and holding the other’s experience without reservation or judgment.
  • Empathy is passive but absolutely attentive. It involves entering into and staying present in the painful experience of the other without moving away from that experience by trying to change it. Empathy establishes a deep connection of mutual vulnerability and intimacy.
  • The dying are often subject to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and helplessness. Some of their suffering can be ameliorated by the strong sense of connection to the other that empathy brings. For the caregiver as well, an empathetic connection to another person nearing the end of life can offer the gratification of a uniquely intimate relationship.



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