Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Limits of Empathy

Below is the link to an excellent article by David Brooks about empathy. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/opinion/brooks-the-limits-of-empathy.html

Years ago I took a test that said I did not have a lot of empathy.  It really made me mad, until I learned that empathy had nothing to do with really caring or acting on your caring.  As Brooks points out, our caring and acts of kindness come from a moral code more than from the ability to feel what another is feeling.  We can get so involved in the emotions (including our  own) that we don't have time or energy for actions.

On an only slightly related note, people talk about dogs giving us unconditional love.  I would rather have loyalty from my dog.  Loyalty results in loyal actions.  I'm not sure what unconditional love from a dog would result in.

 

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