Empathy is the ability to put ourselves in another’s place and to understand their experience. We are deeply present to their thoughts and feelings. We listen with compassion.
Empathy connects us with our common humanity. It protects us from prejudice, blame and judgment-those things that divide us from each other. With empathy, we reflect on how are actions affect others.
Empathy inspires us to be giving and selfless. Empathy connects our hearts. We feel our connection to all people.
“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.” ~ Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships