Halcyon curates the most significant empathy-related content from carefully selected sources. Please contact us if you'd like our help with empathy-related challenges.
Can we imagine how others are feeling at any given time?
We Feel Fine tried to do this, by harvesting "human feelings" from a large number of blogs. Every few minutes, the system searched the world's newly posted blog entries for occurrences of the phrases "I feel" and "I am feeling". When it found such a phrase, it recorded the full sentence, up to the period, and identified the "feeling" expressed in that sentence (e.g. sad, happy, depressed, etc.).As blogs are structured in largely standard ways, the age, gender, and geographical location of the author could often be extracted and saved along with the sentence, as can the local weather conditions at the time the sentence was written.
During these dark days of worsening refugee crises, can we still imagine reaching a state of "xenophilia"...overcoming our "homophily", i.e. the love of that which is like us, and reaching the love of that which is different?
Indeed, if we're ever going to care enough about conflict, genocide, poverty, hunger etc. enough to act on them properly, then we need to try much harder to avoid conflict with people we might not yet fully understand.
For me the purpose of life is to know other people…is to discover what life is. Who inhabits the world? What is it to be human? What can I give to the world which it doesn’t have…a gift for tolerating my presence in this world..…and unless I know the people, I can’t know what it does not have - Theodore Zeldin
Imagine balancing self-interest and caring for others. If this is possible, then:
(1) What is the approximate balance between the two today - in individuals, organisations and societies? How much time do we really spend thinking about and then acting on other people's needs?
We often assume that laughter occurs when we hear something funny, but research has shown that it is the people doing the speaking who laugh the most - 46% more than their audience.
Imagine a job "big enough for the spirit".
Roman Krznaric gave a talk on his book, How to Find Fulfilling Work, as part of the launch of The School of Life’s practical philosophy book series. Krznaric offered 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.