Through a reflective listening and empathy process, we explored
some of the concerns about systems (organizations and institutions
with laws, rules, policies, procedures, and norms) that can
discourage empathy with self and with others. Domination systems
are based on hierarchies of authority and demanded compliance,
with punishments administered for noncompliance.
turn, people tend to play roles and obey rules that deny personal choice
and self-responsibility, which diminishes human freedom. Perhaps anger,
fear, and distrust underlie such "power-over" practices, in which others
are not really seen as capable and willing to meet human needs--so they
must be forced to do so. We speculate that if empathy were focused on
and practiced in relation to systems of domination, helpful
transformations could take place.
From an early age Iíve been fascinated about how to
achieve a higher level of emotional awareness and personal evolution, and
thus life satisfaction. Psychology has been a passion of mine well before
receiving my Bachelor of Science degree in this field in í97. I have a keen
interest in answers to the important questions about self, reality, and
others. Reading profound books such as Honoring the Self by self-esteem
psychologist Nathaniel Branden helped provide many of the missing pieces.