It’s probably the most extraordinary story of the power of empathy I’ve ever come across.
In 1971, the former Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis had an experience that blew away his prejudices and assumptions about African Americans. In this new 4-minute video produced by Renegade Inc, I reveal how and why it happened.
It’s especially relevant in the wake of the recent racially-motivated church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
If anybody ever tells you that empathy is a touchy-feely ‘soft skill’ that has little chance of changing society, just tell them about C.P. Ellis.
This video is based on ideas in my book Empathy, which has just been released in paperback by Penguin Random House.
I recently came across a powerful, short video called This is Adam, about a homeless guy living on the streets of San Francisco. He had all sorts of interesting and insightful things to say, amongst them this: ‘I notice every day that people everywhere are losing their compassion and empathy – not just for homeless people but for society in general.’ What’s really striking is that we see the world as if through Adam’s eyes, including how people ignore him as they pass by. Continue reading →
I have recently begun collecting stories of empathy experiences from around the world for a new book I am writing. Here is one of the latest, in which Antonina Elliott, a graphic designer who lives in New Zealand, describes a memory from a family visit to Samoa when she was five years old.
I have never truly stopped to consider the importance of empathy in my life until now. In recent events, my actions and words have hurt family and friends and left a trail of broken relationships in my wake, resulting in me seriously doubting whether I ever possessed any empathy at all.
Questions about my empathic capabilities have plagued my mind but a childhood memory of mine gives me hope.Continue reading →