Mental Health & You Column | Agust 2020
In this Conversation Column, we look at how empathy, the ability to understand the feelings of others, is the foundation of mental health. It might also be said to be the pillar that supports and sustains human relationships, the family and civil society.
One way empathy manifests is in morality, including what we call in the West, the Golden Rule, which takes many forms in many different cultures.
But it boils down to roughly, "Treat other people the way you would like to be treated." So we think we could justly say that, as empathy can be said to affect every aspect of our human experience, it rightly deserves to be the focus of our column this month.
Empathy can also be said to be the ability to recognize, understand, and share the thoughts and feelings of another person, animal, or fictional character.
Developing empathy is crucial for establishing relationships and behaving compassionately. It involves experiencing another person’s point of view, rather than just one’s own, and enables 'helping behaviors' that come from within, rather than being imposed upon us by someone else.
With the pandemic and other recent events we have all been forced to adjust to what has been called the new normal, a perspective that could be said to be more isolated, egocentric and 'tribal,' rather than altruistic and other-centered. Some surveys indicate that empathy is on the decline in the United States and elsewhere. This is a source of concern.
We believe that such a critical component of good mental health and a healthy society should draw our thoughtful attentions.
We hope that our experts in this column bring you insights and good advice.
Let us know - post your comment or share your insight on our Hope Blog
Stay Safe and Healthy,
Diana and Jan
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Empathy is a term we use for the ability to understand other people's feelings as if we were having them ourselves. ... Sympathy refers to the ability to take part in someone else's feelings, mostly by feeling sorrowful about their misfortune.
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Your Empathy Toolkit #2
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Please stay safe and healthy!
Diana and Jan