Category Archives: belief

How old men living in cages in Hong Kong opened my mind

I’ve been giving a lot of talks in the last few weeks about my new book Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution. And almost every time someone asks me about the personal experiences that led to my own interest in empathy. So here I’d like to share one of these experiences – a kind of epiphany […]

Also posted in emotions, empathy, ethics, money, politics | 6 Comments

How to master simple living in 2014

Okay, the Christmas frenzy is over and it’s time for resolutions. What’s it going to be in 2014? For the coming year I’m going to borrow a mantra from the 19th century naturalist Henry David Thoreau, who preached the pleasures and virtues of ‘simplicity, simplicity, simplicity’. And for a bit more inspiration, I’ve written an […]

Also posted in ethics, nature, philosophy, politics, simple living | 1 Comment

Six Life Lessons from Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy was more than just a great novelist with one of the best beards of the nineteenth century. He was also a radical social and political thinker who was constantly grappling with the problem of how to live. I’ve just written an article about his approach to the art of living called Six Life Lessons […]

Also posted in empathy, ethics, family, literature, love, money, philosophy, religion, simple living, work | 3 Comments

How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life

It’s launch day for my new book How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life, which has just been released in the US. Previously published in the UK under the title The Wonderbox (sorry, a bit confusing, I know), it’s about what history can teach us about the art of living. […]

Also posted in conversation, creativity, deathstyle, emotions, empathy, ethics, family, history, literature, love, money, nature, philosophy, politics, religion, senses, simple living, time, travel, work | Leave a comment

Four Ways to Rethink ‘Having It All’ (Without Leaning In)

Here’s an article I just wrote for the Wall Street Journal on the dilemmas of balancing work and family life. Is Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, author of Leaning In, right to think that women can ‘have it all’ if only they really believe in themselves? My approach is not to answer the question ‘Is it possible […]

Also posted in family, history, money, politics, psychology, public policy, simple living, travel, work | Leave a comment

The Human Zoo: The tyranny of group-don’t-think

There’s a fascinating new BBC Radio 4 series called The Human Zoo, looking at the ins and outs of who we really are – are we led by the head or the heart? what are the quirks and qualities that drive human behaviour? Episode 4 focuses on why human beings find it so difficult to admit when […]

Also posted in creativity, emotions, ethics, podcasts, psychology, science, work | 2 Comments

How Goethe can change your life – 3 lessons for 2013

So you’ve drawn up your list of New Year’s resolutions. Some are probably achievable, like giving up eating chocolate for breakfast. Others may be more daunting because they represent a long-held desire to take your life in a new direction, anything from changing career to renewing family relationships. If you’ve resolved to make a big change, I suggest […]

Also posted in history, love, travel, work | 7 Comments

Can reading a novel change the world?

‘It was through books that I first realised there were other worlds beyond my own; first imagined what it might be like to be another person,’ wrote novelist Julian Barnes in a recent Guardian essay. It’s an enticing thought that reading fiction might help us escape the straitjacket of our egos and expand our moral […]

Also posted in art, empathy, empathy through education, empathy through experience, ethics, family, history, literature, love, philosophy, religion | 2 Comments

Jubilee’ve the hype? One hundred years of royal PR

Over a million rain-soaked loyal subjects watched the Queen’s barge and a thousand support vessels bobble along the Thames this weekend to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. And around the country many more millions joined the festivities at street parties, country fairs, community dances and cake sales. But now the Union Jacks have been put away, […]

Also posted in history, politics, public policy | 3 Comments

The Six Habits of Highly Empathic People

This is the video of a talk I gave at the Royal Society of the Arts, which describes six ways to expand our empathic potential, drawing on everything from the empathy experiments of George Orwell to developments in industrial design, from the struggle against slavery in the eighteenth century to the Middle East crisis today. Discover […]

Also posted in background, climate change, conversation, empathy, empathy through conversation, empathy through education, empathy through experience, ethics, history, literature, podcasts, politics, psychology, public policy, science | 2 Comments
  • Welcome to OUTROSPECTION, my blog on empathy and the art of living. You'll find articles, interviews and news on the fundamental questions of how to live, with an emphasis on outrospection, which is about discovering who we are by stepping outside ourselves and exploring the lives of other people and cultures.

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    Front cover of 'The Wonderbox' by Roman KrznaricFront cover of Empathy by Roman Krznaric


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