Wondering About Empathy - 2

GEO blogs are part of our mission to provide a platform for co-op practitioners and solidarity economy organizers to share their thoughts and experiences with a wider audience.  Any views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the GEO Collective.  If you would like to start a blog on GEO, please contact editors@geo.coop. If you would like to make a response to the blog author, we encourage you to do so in the comments section below.


Here’s a short TED talk that might send you off wondering about empathy and compassion. Sally Kohn is a progressive lesbian talking head on Fox News. Contradiction, right? Well, no. Here’s her message:

We spend so much time talking past each other and not enough time talking through our disagreements, and if we can start to find compassion for one another, then we have a shot at building common ground. It actually sounds really hokey to say it standing up here, but when you try to put it in practice, it's really powerful.

She refers to this as ‘emotional correctness,’ as opposed to ‘political correctness.’ Example:

“Sean Hannity is one of the sweetest guys I've ever met… Now, I think Sean Hannity is 99 percent politically wrong, but his emotional correctness is strikingly impressive, and that's why people listen to him.”


I think the ‘correctness’ idea is a poor move. It just creates a new set of right/wrong boxes that clogs clear thinking and meaningful communication as do any right/wrong frames. But her basic message applies to every kind of relationship I can think of. And it is a powerful to all sterotypic thinking.

Regular Contributors: 
Practices, Tools & Strategies: