Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself. 


When you see a living being going through something extraordinary, do you internalize and transpose what you are seeing?

What is it specifically that causes us to feel empathetic?

Is it our ability to recognize what another living creature is going through and to juxtapose those experiences, feelings or emotions into our own life predicament, such that we can relate to what they must be weathering and therefore share some of the anxiety, fear, grief, pain, or disappointment?

Empathy is a very interesting, emotional quality that is not always readily present in everybody. In fact, there are many people who do not feel empathetic, whatsoever. Does this mean that empathy is not necessarily biological, but rather taught?

If it is biological, and readily prevalent, as it appears to be, would it not stand to reason that a majority of people would experience this? Many animals in the animal kingdom most certainly experience it. Is empathy, a variable that is randomly distributed like a sense of humor or intelligence?

And if it is taught, how precisely does that take place?

When we are witnessing another party going through their gyrations of emotion while processing a particular experience or situation, I do believe that we see reflections of our own being caught in the other party’s circumstance, and for a brief minute, the pangs that we are feeling deep within, are our own emotions, trying to process what we might be dealing with, were we the ones who are experiencing such a tumultuous situation.

The transposition of the experience of a third party onto our own beings is the core tenet of all fiction, theater, and media. Humans voyeuristically assimilate experiences and grow through that process.

Empathy is a cornerstone of civilization. If people did not feel empathetic towards one another, there would be overall apathy towards any misfortune, illness, disappointment, injury, or loss that another party is processing.

Our innate ability to transpose our own feelings, atop a third-party’s circumstances, gives way for civilization as a whole, to mature.

In this communal experience, we are that much more capable of building a society that has laws and protections that preclude others from potentially weathering similar misfortune, and cumulatively protecting the society as a whole, from disintegration and demise.

When you experience empathy, ask yourself what is really going on inside your mind, and you will discover that you are transposing those circumstances onto your own and having a sympathetic reaction in which you, yourself, are weathering some of their pain, fear or discomfort.

Happy Sunday!


#empathy #empathyinaction #empathyatwork #empathyinleadership

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!