Empathy Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 103 quotes )
"Empathy" is the latest code word for liberal activism, for treating the Constitution as malleable clay to be kneaded and molded in whatever form justices want. It represents an expansive view of the judiciary in which courts create policy that couldn't pass the legislative branch or, if it did, would generate voter backlash.
Normal people have an incredible lack of empathy. They have good emotional empathy, but they don't have much empathy for the autistic kid who is screaming at the baseball game because he can't stand the sensory overload. Or the autistic kid having a meltdown in the school cafeteria because there's too much stimulation.
We all suffer alone in the real world. True empathy's impossible. But if a piece of fiction can alow us imaginatively to identify with a character's pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with their own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside. It might just be that simple.
(In part, quoting Robert Keegan from Harvard):'When we take the risk of really witnessing another human being, when we validate their human experience, we risk becoming recruited to their welfare.' I allow my empathy to be engaged, and once it is - because my feelings help teach me what my values are - I'm on the path for which there is no return. I am inexorably an advocate when I allow my empathy to be engaged.
Thinking of Macintosh's reaction to Veronica, Grant felt a wave of empathy. "Poor kid's going to be mooning like a puppy for a month. Did you have to smile at him?"Really, Grant. He can't be more than fifteen."Old enough to break out in a sweat," he commented."Hormones," she murmured as she found Fairfield's sparse selection of wine. "They just need time to balance."Grant's gaze drifted down and focused as she bent over. "It should only take thirty or forty years," he muttered.
Telepathy’ literally means to feel at a distance, just as ‘telephone’ is to hear at a distance and ‘television’ is to see at a distance. The word suggests the communication not of thoughts but of feelings, emotions. Around a quarter of all Americans believe they’ve experienced something like telepathy. People who know each other very well, who live together, who are practised in one another’s feeling tones, associations and thinking styles can often anticipate what the partner will say. This is merely the usual five senses plus human empathy, sensitivity and intelligence in operation. It may feel extrasensory, but it’s not at all what’s intended by the word ‘telepathy’. If something like this were ever conclusively demonstrated, it would, I think, have discernible physical causes -perhaps electrical currents in the brain. Pseudoscience, rightly or wrongly labelled, is by no means the same thing as the supernatural, which is by definition something somehow outside of Nature.
It wasn't courage that motivated this casual, impersonal manner of treating so much pain; it was a special brand of cowardice, a destructive defense mechanism, forcing others to listen to the most horrendous experiences and yet denying them the moment of empathy: don't feel sorry for me; nothing is too big for me to handle. This is nothing, nothing really.
I had a teacher I liked who used to say good fiction’s job was to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. I guess a big part of serious fiction’s purpose is to give the reader, who like all of us is sort of marooned in her own skull, to give her imaginative access to other selves. Since an ineluctable part of being a human self is suffering, part of what we humans come to art for is an experience of suffering, necessarily a vicarious experience, more like a sort of “generalization” of suffering. Does this make sense? We all suffer alone in the real world; true empathy’s impossible. But if a piece of fiction can allow us imaginatively to identify with a character’s pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with our own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside.
Ecstasy is a complex emotion containing elements of joy, fear, terror, triumph, surrender, and empathy. What has replaced our prehistoric understanding of this complex of ecstasy now is the word comfort, a tremendously bloodless notion. Drugs are not comfortable, and anyone who thinks they are comfortable or even escapist should not toy with drugs unless they’re willing to get their noses rubbed in their own stuff.
Grow with discipline. Balance intuition with rigor. Innovate around the core. Don't embrace the status quo. Find new ways to see. Never expect a silver bullet. Get your hands dirty. Listen with empathy and overcommunicate with transparency. Tell your story, refusing to let others define you. Use authentic experiences to inspire. Stick to your values, they are your foundation. Hold people accountable, but give them the tools to succeed. Make the tough choices; it's how you execute that counts. Be decisive in times of crisis. Be nimble. Find truth in trials and lessons in mistakes. Be responsible for what you see, hear, and do. Believe.
A good novel is one that shows the complexity of individuals, and creates enough space for all these characters to have a voice; in this way a novel is called democratic - not that it advocates democracy but that by nature it is so. Empathy lies at the heart of Gatsby, like so many other great novels - the biggest sin is to be blind to others' problems and pains. Not seeing them means denying their existence.
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.