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Can empathy help bridge the divides that fracture us as a nation and world?In this Text to Text, Jennifer Finney Boylan’s personal essay “Bring Moral Imagination Back in Style” and Nicholas Kristof’s Op-Ed “How Do We Increase Empathy? Both pieces acknowledge that while learning to feel empathy may be challenging, it is a skill worth nurturing.But what about the muscles needed to be an empathetically fit human being? And how do we create opportunities for greater compassion and empathy in our world?
How might we prevent these initiatives from feeling forced? Read Books or Watch Films to Strengthen Your Empathy Muscle Mr.
Kristof writes about a study published in the journal Science that found that after reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction, people performed better on tests measuring empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence — skills that come in especially handy when you are trying to read someone’s body language or gauge what they might be thinking. Common Sense Media also has a list of movies and a list of books that inspire empathy.
Nicholas Kristof writes his column out of frustration.
He is upset about what he calls “one of this country’s fundamental problems” — an empathy gap — and he sets out to describe what researchers know about empathy and how to nurture it. Kristof writes about his friend, Kevin Green, ”a warm and helpful man who floundered in a tough job market, hurt his back and died at the age of 54.” The column was a call for empathy for those who are struggling, but, predictably, scolds complained that Kevin’s problems were of his own making. Activity Sheets: As students read and discuss, they might take notes using one or more of the three graphic organizers (PDFs) we have created for our Text to Text feature:• Comparing Two or More Texts• Double-Entry Chart for Close Reading• Document Analysis Questions_________Text 1: Excerpt from “Bring Moral Imagination Back in Style,” Jennifer Finney Boylan, The New York Times, July 22, 2016I came back from the beach one day to find my grandmother and her nearly deaf friend Hilda playing gin and drinking vodka.
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quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale"/To become stronger, better, faster and more competitive athletes, we need to work out and practice. We need to stretch, sweat and push our way out of our comfort zones to achieve a higher level of skill and performance.
Edmund Burke called this the “moral imagination,” the idea that our ethics should transcend our own personal experience and embrace the dignity of the human race. My adversary was clearly uncomfortable with the idea of a woman like me in the men’s room; at the same time he did not want to budge from his talking point that people like me shouldn’t be allowed in the women’s room, either, because he was convinced that we constitute some sort of threat to children.
In May, I appeared on the MSNBC show “Hardball With Chris Matthews” with a representative from the Family Research Council. In the end, he didn’t have an answer for the question, because the idea that I am human — and do occasionally need to use the restroom — was really not one that had given him much concern. Dacher Keltner, who runs the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley, says that having people think about suffering activates the vagus nerve, which is linked to compassion.
Researchers have found that reading literary fiction by the likes of Don De Lillo or Alice Munro — but not beach fiction or nonfiction — can promote empathy.
I used to be cynical about student service projects, partly because they seemed so often to be about dressing up a college application, and trips so often involve countries with great beaches. ) Then there was The Washington Post’s report about the Mexican church that was painted six times over the course of a summer by successive waves of visitors.