Empathy: Identification with and understanding of another’s situation, feelings and motives. (American Heritage College Dictionary)
“There is no greater intelligence than kindness and empathy.” Bryant H. McGill
“Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.” Oprah Winfrey
Watching the Democratic Convention last night I was struck by the feeling of empathy that came from every speaker. Michelle Obama spoke about it at length. That is what we have been missing from our leaders since 2016. Selfishness replaced empathy. Kindness was set aside for meanness.
“We think we listen, but rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know.” Carl Rogers
During this pandemic we have been cut off from our normal human interactions, but we can still listen with empathy. First to ourselves. Then to our leaders. Are they showing empathy? Are they listening with their inner senses? Intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy? The differences between people lie in their use of these inner senses; most don’t know.
“I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization.” Roger Ebert.
“Empathy means acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what we can see.” Leslie Jamison
Thank you, Michelle Obama, for calling us to empathy.