25 Mar Words of virtuous contagion: Empathy
Words are important. They can feed fear and stress, or relieve that sense of anxiety and bewilderment that we are all experiencing right now, allowing us to change perspective and generate a virtuous contagion, starting from what we think and feel.
The second word we want to focus on is empathy.
Empathy, from the Greek empatheia “to feel inside”, is that innate ability of man to tune in to the emotional state of another person, in an immediate way, without resorting to explanations or interpretations.
It is an innate ability that requires some basic conditions in order to develop; one of these is to be in contact with yourself, the ability to recognize and be with your emotions and feelings. In the hectic society we live unfortunately we are losing these skills, becoming more and more indifferent to the suffering of the other and further away from our inner world.
And that’s why we think the pandemic we are experiencing can help us developing empathy. Forced to stop, not to leave the house, we can learn again to contact our feelings, to be aware of what is happening within us and allow ourselves to open up to the other and to tune in to his inner world. Also because this time we are in the shoes of the other.
Empathy is one of the cardinal values of our “Diverse but not distant” project>>