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 – from my time growing up as a teenager in Hong Kong. Read More »

Posted in belief, emotions, empathy, ethics, money, politics | 7 Comments

Is global empathy in decline?

Syrian woman and children, Aleppo, 2013Is global empathy in decline? Are our societies becoming less caring and more narcissistic? Have we become numb to media images of human suffering, such as photos of children traumatised by air strikes in Syria? In this article in the Guardian, I explore the recent decline of empathy in Australia, as well as other countries such as the UK and USA – and try to offer some innovative solutions for reversing the trend.

The article is based on my new book, Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution.

You can find information about my upcoming book events here, including talks in London, Oxford, Amsterdam and Zagreb. Hope to see you at one of them – come and say hello!

Posted in emotions, empathy, ethics, peace building, politics, public policy | 1 Comment

Empathy and Happiness: The 3 Minute Pitch

Want to put empathy to work in your relationships? How can empathy boost personal wellbeing? Find out in this three-minute video below, based on my new book Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution. (Sorry, the video doesn’t work on some phones – you’ll need to look at it on a laptop or desktop.)

Posted in conversation, empathy, empathy through conversation, family, psychology | 1 Comment

New book out today: EMPATHY

Empathy coverToday is launch day for my new book, Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution. More than ten years in the making, I explore the six habits of highly empathic people, and how stepping into other people’s shoes can both transform everyday life and create radical social change.

You can find out more about the book here. Buy it from Amazon or your local bookstore.

I discuss some of the key ideas in the book in this article in the Guardian, and in my new TEDx talk How to Start an Empathy Revolution.

Alongside the book, I have launched the world’s first online Empathy Library, a digital treasure house where you can find powerful and inspiring books and films all about empathy. Do take a look.

Please spread word about the book to friends, family, lovers and strangers. And let me know what you think of it!

Posted in art, emotions, empathy, ethics, family, history | Leave a comment

TED Talk: How to Start an Empathy Revolution

TEDx Athens opening slideMy new talk from TEDx Athens has just gone online – How to Start an Empathy Revolution. From human libraries to babies teaching empathy, here are the ingredients for transforming empathy into a force for social change. I hope you enjoy it! Please share with friends, family, colleagues and strangers.

The talk is based on my new book Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution.

 

Posted in conversation, emotions, empathy, empathy through conversation, empathy through education, empathy through experience, ethics, history, peace building, politics, psychology, science, videos | 3 Comments

Empathy Library launches today!

ELlogoToday I’m pleased and proud to announce the launch of my new project, the world’s first online Empathy Library. It’s a digital treasure house where you will find inspiring and powerful books and films that catapult your imagination into other people’s lives. There are Top Ten Charts, you can browse by themes like love or poverty, and join the library to add your own favourite items. Think of it as Goodreads for the Empathy Revolution! Supporting organisations include The School of Life, Friends of the Earth, Ashoka and Roots of Empathy.

Check out the Empathy Library here.

Posted in art, conversation, empathy, empathy library, empathy through education, film, literature, videos | 2 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 article on what we can learn today from the great simple livers from history (including Thoreau). Check it out over at YES! Magazine.

Posted in belief, ethics, nature, philosophy, politics, simple living | 1 Comment

Have you tried the six varieties of love?

We’re all pretty sophisticated when it comes to ordering a cup of coffee – do you want a latte, a cappuccino, a mocha or maybe a double espresso? But we are incredibly crude in the way we talk about love, using a single word to describe so many kinds of relationship. Those clever Ancient Greeks, though, recognised six different varieties of love.

I’ve just written an article about the six Greek loves, which you will find at Sojourners Magazine. Have a read and see if makes you rethink our culture’s obsession with the idea of romantic love.

The article is based on my new book How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life, published in the US last week. (In the UK this same book was published under the title The Wonderbox – apologies for any confusion!)

Posted in emotions, family, history, love, philosophy, psychology, religion | Leave a 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 from Leo Tolstoy, which you can find over at Powells Books Blog.

The article is based on my new book How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life, published in the US this week. (In the UK this same book was published under the title The Wonderbox – apologies for any confusion!)

Posted in belief, 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

HSWL Cover finalIt’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. What might we learn from the Ancient Greeks about the different varieties of love, from the Renaissance about creativity and death, or from the industrial revolution about rethinking our attitudes to work, money and family life?

But rather than tell you all about the book myself, there’s a fascinating review and discussion of it by the brilliant Maria Popova from Brain Pickings, which came out today. She describes it (most flatteringly) as ‘an illuminating and awakening read in its entirety’. Check out her full article, which focuses on the topics of love, time and empathy.

 

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