Thursday, December 24, 2009

Smart Empathy

The holiday season — no matter what faith — does bring families together, and as I read Wendy Mogel's (The Blessing of a Skinned Knee) recent, insightful article "Smart Empathy" in the winter issue of Independent School magazine, it made me appreciate how important a role empathy plays in binding families, especially today in our school communities.  In her article, Mogel cites Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind (see post dated 3/30/08 post) by pointing out his emphasis on empathy as an essential quality for success in the 21st century.  On the other hand, she does warn readers that there can be a "dark side of empathy," and while the economy is placing stress on our families, it is also setting a stage for school communities to take notice of others' needs.

If you want a touch of seeing inside empathy, a teacher colleague sent me a link to John Henry Faulk's Christmas story, which first aired in 1974 on radio's "Voices in the Wind" and is now presented annually on NPR radio.  It is a beautiful story about one family being thoughtful of another family.

1 comment:

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