Empathy an an Age of Extremism

These feel like turbulent times. From mass shootings in the US to the rise of far-right parties and terrorist attacks in Europe, we seem to be entering a new age of extremism.

If there is any solution to this, I think empathy has to be part of it.

In this new five-minute video for Aeon Magazine, I argue that tackling extremism, and creating a more moral world, requires shifting our focus from empathy as an individual emotional response to empathy on the collective level.

New video: Is the idea of a soulmate a myth?

Probably the greatest myth of romantic love is that somewhere, out there in the amorous ether, is our missing other half – our soulmate.

This entertaining new video based on my book How Should We Live? Great Ideas from the Past for Everyday Life – which is released in paperback in the US this week – explores how the idea of the soulmate emerged out of the history of love, and how we should think about it today. Are we raising our expectations too high in our search for romance, hoping that a single person can provide us with all the love we need – being not only our best friend, but also our lifelong companion and the best sex we ever had? And who invented the term ‘soulmate’ in 1822?

The new video is something of a companion piece to my article on the Six Varieties of Love known to the Ancient Greeks.

If you haven’t read it, How Should We Live? (titled The Wonderbox in the UK) explores the lessons we can learn from history about the art of living, and looks at topics ranging from love and work to creativity, travel and death. It’s inspired by a wonderful quote from Goethe: ‘He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth’.

3 Tips for Practising Empathy With Your Kids

Roman KrznaricMy six-year-old daughter said something interesting the other day. ‘Dad, why do you shout at me when really you’re upset with your work?’ She’s perceptive, and probably far more perceptive than I realise. It made me think about how large the gulf of understanding between parents and children can be. And that gulf sometimes takes the form of an empathy gap – a failure to be able to step into their shoes. So I’ve written an article about it, which you’ll find at the Huffington Post, called 3 Tips for Practising Empathy With Your Kids.

The ideas in the article draw on a new series of over twenty microvideos I’ve just done with Kids in the House on empathy and parenting. Check them out here.

UPDATE! Empathy Sermon at The School of Life (with Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone)

So sorry folks but in the blog post I just sent you about my recent Empathy Sermon at The School of Life many people couldn’t see the embedded video in their email. So here is the post again but this time including a link to the video. Big apologies. Hope you enjoy it…

It was a huge privilege and pleasure to give one of The School of Life’s Sunday Sermons at London’s historic Conway Hall recently. Last time I’d been there was to discuss the power of vulnerability with emotions researcher Brené Brown. This time I was there to talk about my new book Empathy, but that was just part of it. The 500-strong congregation stood at the beginning and end to sing two great empathy-related songs: Stevie Wonder’s Living for the City and Nina Simone’s Feeling Good. There were even little shoe-shaped biscuits from Biscuiteers

Here’s the video from the Sermon in full, where I talk about the six habits of highly empathic people and how to make them part of your everyday life.

Roman Krznaric’s new book Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution is out now.

BUY THE BOOK (UK)
FIND OUT MORE

Empathy Sermon at The School of Life (with Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone)

It was a huge privilege and pleasure to give one of The School of Life’s Sunday Sermons at London’s historic Conway Hall recently. Last time I’d been there was to discuss the power of vulnerability with emotions researcher Brené Brown. This time I was there to talk about my new book Empathy, but that was just part of it. The 500-strong congregation stood at the beginning and end to sing two great empathy-related songs: Stevie Wonder’s Living for the City and Nina Simone’s Feeling Good. There were even little shoe-shaped biscuits from Biscuiteers

Here’s the video from the Sermon in full, where I talk about the six habits of highly empathic people and how to make them part of your everyday life.

Roman Krznaric’s new book Empathy: A Handbook for Revolution is out now.

BUY THE BOOK (UK)
FIND OUT MORE

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.

Valentine’s Day Video: The Six Varieties of Love

The Ancient Greeks would have considered us modern creatures incredibly unsophisticated in the way we talk about love. We tend to use a single word to cover so many different kinds of relationships and emotions. On Valentine’s Day you may well whisper ‘I love you’ to your soulmate over a candlelit meal, but then the next morning casually sign an email ‘lots of love’. The Greeks would have been shocked at the crudeness of our expression, because they identified six different varieties of love. What were the Greek loves? And how might they revolutionise the way we think about love today? Find out in this video on The Six Varieties of Love, which is based on the chapter on love in my book The Wonderbox.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Is your job big enough for your spirit?

Here is the video of a talk I gave on my latest book, How to Find Fulfilling Work, at the Union Chapel in London in May. Filmed live in front of nearly 1000 people, it was part of the launch of The School of Life’s practical philosophy book series, edited by Alain de Botton and published by Macmillan. In 15 minutes I offer five essential ideas for career change, drawing on career advice from Leonardo da Vinci, Aristotle and a woman who gave herself the unusual 30th birthday present of trying out 30 different jobs in one year – a radical sabbatical.

There were five other talks on the night, each of them full of wise, witty and useful ideas for the art of living:

Alain de Botton on How to Think More About Sex

Philippa Perry on How to Stay Sane

John-Paul Flintoff on How to Change the World

Tom Chatfield on How to Thrive in the Digital Age

John Armstrong on How to Worry Less about Money

My book How to Find Fulfilling Work is also available in several translations, including Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese and German. This weekend I’ll be launching the Dutch edition at the LIFE! philosophy event in Amsterdam.

And for anybody who missed it, I recently had a new article on The Six Habits of Highly Empathic People published by the good folk at the Greater Good Science Center, at the University of California.

Happy viewing, reading and living…