How does empathy differ from compassion? What are the best strategies we should employ to influence one another to be more caring?
The problem with empathy is that we tend to focus on what’s immediately in front of us, which means that we lose the opportunities to make a big difference.
We are mindful of that web that connects all of us, and we will, God-willing, emerge to tread more softly, honoring one another in our shared human vulnerability.
Once I accept reality, I can begin to work on the world as it is, rather than the world that exists in my head.
If I shut the door entirely and write off and not engage with 40% of the American population, then I’m actually part of the problem.
If transcendence can help us become better people, then not only science, but religion, can add something to the conversation, as well.
When we are in a position of power, we need to be that much more attuned to our responsibility to be empathetic and compassionate.
There often is tension between our religious beliefs and our religious identities — between our religious teachings that tell us to be compassionate to all people, and the way religious groups can create an “us” and “them” mentality. But “who we are” is very much “what we do.”
There is a difference been retributive justice, which gives us a primal sense of pleasure, and restorative justice, which is about our responsibilities as we try move forward from this moment on.
Either God exists, or God doesn’t. And we have absolutely no control over that fact. And so because there’s nothing we can do about whether there is a God or not, I’ve never found that question to be a particularly interesting one to ask. After all, when the question is framed in that way, there are really only three answers people can give — “Yes, I do,” “No, I don’t,” or “I’m not sure.”