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Quotations
http://j.mp/11TbRgH

Empathy  (A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z)

Search Quote Databases

 

Empathy

A
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Adam Smith

"As we have no immediate experience of what other men feel, we can form no idea of the manner in which they are affected, but by conceiving what we ourselves should feel in the like situation." Adam Smith

 "the emotions of the spectator will still be very apt to fall short of the violence of what is felt by the sufferer. Mankind, though naturally sympathetic, never conceive, for what has befallen another, that degree of passion which naturally animates the person principally concerned." Adam Smith's 
The Theory of Moral Sentiments (sympathy)

“How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it except the pleasure of seeing it.” Adam Smith


Addison Gayle

"Power comes not from the barrel of a gun, but from one's awareness of his or her own cultural strength and the unlimited capacity to empathize with, feel for, care, and love one's brothers and sisters." "Addison Gayle, Jr.\" (1932 - ____) US "educator, critic, author" """The Black Aesthetic,"" 1971."

Albert Einstein
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us "universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."  Albert Einstein

Alfred Adler 
"seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another." Alfred Adler

Alice Miller 
Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn. Alice Miller

Ambrose Bierce  [listening]
"Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen." Ambrose Bierce

Anderson Cooper 
"Anyone who has experienced a certain amount of loss in their life has empathy for those who have experienced loss."  Anderson Cooper 

Andy Hertzfeld
People who work on the user interface side need to have empathy as a key characteristic. But if you are writing device drivers you don't really need to understand humans so well. Andy Hertzfeld

Andre Dubois
“writing is a sustained act of empathy.” - Andre Dubois

Andre Gide
"Are you then unable to recognize unless it has the same sound as yours?" - Andre Gide

Anonymous
"You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion." Anonymous

Ann Patchett
“Reading fiction not only develops our imagination and creativity, it gives us the skills to be alone. It gives us the ability to feel empathy for people we've never met, living lives we couldn't possibly experience for ourselves, because the book puts us inside the character's skin.” - Ann Patchett

Annie Lennox
"Humankind seems to have an enormous capacity for savagery, for brutality, for lack of empathy, for lack of compassion. " Annie Lennox 

Ansel Adams
Photography is an investigation of both the outer and the inner worlds. The first experiences with the camera involve looking at the world beyond the lens, trusting the instrument will 'capture' something 'seen.' The terms shoot and take are not accidental; they represent an attitude of conquest and appropriation. Only when the photographer grows into perception and creative impulse does the term make define a condition of empathy between the external and the internal events. Ansel Adams 

Anita Roddick
I hope to leave my children a sense of empathy and pity and a will to right social wrongs. 
Anita Roddick (1942 - 2007) English "businesswoman, social reformer" "In ""The Sunday Express,"" 9 Jun 1991."

Art Linkletter
"Sometimes I'm asked by kids why I condemn marijuana when I haven't tried it. The greatest obstetricians in the world have never been pregnant." - Art Linkletter

Arnhar
"Evolution has produced the requisites for morality: a tendency to develop social norms and enforce them, the capacities of empathy and sympathy, mutual aid and a sense of fairness, the mechanisms of conflict resolution, and so on. Evolution has also produced the unalterable needs and desires of our species: the need of the young for care, a desire for high status, the need to belong to a group, and so forth." (Arnhart)

Arthur Ciaramicoli & Katherine Ketcham
When we move out of ourselves and into the other person’s experience, seeing the world with that person, as if we were that person, we are practicing empathy.  Arthur Ciaramicoli & Katherine Ketcham

Arundhati Ray
Throughout the world, teachers, sociologists, policymakers and parents are discovering that empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance. Arundhati Ray
 

Atticus Finch 
"If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Azar Nafisi 

"Only curiosity about the fate of others, the ability to put ourselves in their shoes, and the will to enter their world through the magic of imagination, creates this shock of recognition. Without this empathy there can be no genuine dialogue, and we as individuals and nations will remain isolated and alien, segregated and fragmented." Azar Nafisi

“A novel is not an allegory.... It is the sensual experience of another world. If you don't enter that world, hold your breath with the characters and become involved in their destiny, you won't be able to empathize, and empathy is at the heart of the novel. This is how you read a novel: you inhale the experience. So start breathing.”  Azar Nafisi

“Empathy lies at the heart of Gatsby, like so many other great novels--the biggest sin is to be blind to others' problems and pains. Not seeing them means denying their existence.”
Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran

I believe in empathy. I believe in the kind of empathy that is created through imagination and through intimate, personal relationships. I am a writer and a teacher, so much of my time is spent interpreting stories and connecting to other individuals. It is the urge to know more about ourselves and others that creates empathy. Through imagination and our desire for rapport, we transcend our limitations, freshen our eyes, and are able to look at ourselves and the world through a new and alternative lens. Azar Nafisi

This experience in my life reinforces my belief in the mysterious connections that link individuals to each other despite their vast differences. No amount of political correctness can make us empathize with a child left orphaned in Darfur or a woman taken to a football stadium in Kabul and shot to death because she is improperly dressed. Only curiosity about the fate of others, the ability to put ourselves in their shoes, and the will to enter their world through the magic of imagination, creates this shock of recognition. Without this empathy there can be no genuine dialogue, and we as individuals and nations will remain isolated and alien, segregated and fragmented.  Azar Nafisi

I believe that it is only through empathy, that the pain experienced by an Algerian woman, a North Korean dissident, a Rwandan child or an Iraqi prisoner, becomes real to me and not just passing news. And it is at times like this when I ask myself, am I prepared — like Huck Finn — to give up Sunday school heaven for the kind of hell that Huck chose?  
Azar Nafisi



B
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Barack Obama

"The biggest deficit that we have in our society and in the world right now is an empathy deficit. We are in great need of people being able to stand in somebody else's shoes and see the world through their eyes" Barack Obama

"The world doesn't just revolve around you. There's a lot of talk in this country about the federal deficit. But I think we should talk more about our empathy deficit." Barack Obama

"My third piece of advice is to cultivate a sense of empathy - to put yourself in other people's shoes - to see the world from their eyes. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world." Barack Obama

"Learning to stand in somebody else's shoes, to see through their eyes, that's how peace begins. And it's up to you to make that happen." Barack Obama

We live in a culture that discourages empathy. A culture that too often tells us our principle goal in life is to be rich, thin, young, famous, safe, and entertained. Barack Obama

I'm determined to disagree with people without being disagreeable. That's part of the empathy. Empathy doesn't just extend to cute little kids. You have to have empathy when you're talking to some guy who doesn't like black people. Barack Obama

What is the empathy deficit? "The inability of people to stand in other folks shoes. ..  It's hard to empathize with people who have different values than you" Barack Obama

(men)
"One of the values that I think men in particular have to pass on is the value of empathy. Not sympathy, empathy. And what that means is standing in somebody else's shoes, being able to look through their eyes. You know, sometimes we get so caught up in "us" that it's hard to see that there are other people and that your behavior has an impact on them. And sometimes brothers in particular don't like to feel empathy, don't like to think in terms of "How does this affect other people?" because we think that's being soft. There's a culture in our society that says we can't show weakness and we can't, therefore, show kindness. That we can't be considerate because sometimes that makes us look weak."  Barack Obama

(men)
"The second thing we need to do as fathers is pass along the value of empathy to our children. Not sympathy, but empathy – the ability to stand in somebody else's shoes; to look at the world through their eyes. Sometimes it's so easy to get caught up in “us,” that we forget about our obligations to one another. There's a culture in our society that says remembering these obligations is somehow soft – that we can't show weakness, and so therefore we can't show kindness. 

 But our young boys and girls see that. They see when you are ignoring or mistreating your wife. They see when you are inconsiderate at home; or when you are distant; or when you are thinking only of yourself. And so it's no surprise when we see that behavior in our schools or on our streets.

That's why we pass on the values of empathy and kindness to our children by living them. We need to show our kids that you're not strong by putting other people down – you're strong by lifting them up. That's our responsibility as fathers."  Barack Obama

(judges)
We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old - and that's the criterion by which I'll be selecting my judges. Barack Obama

[peace]
each side has legitimate aspirations -- and that’s part of what makes peace so hard. And
 
the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in the other’s shoes; each side can see the world through the other’s eyes. That’s what we should be encouraging. That’s what we should be promoting.

As it is written in the Book of Deuteronomy, “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.”  To me, that verse is a call to show empathy to our brothers and our sisters; to try and recognize ourselves in one another...


Barbara Kingsolver

"Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It's the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else's pain is as meaningful as your own." Barbara Kingsolver

Fiction and essays can create empathy for the theoretical stranger. Barbara Kingsolver

"Literature sucks you into another psyche. So the creation of empathy necessarily influences how you'll behave to other people." Barbara Kingsolver

"Good fiction creates empathy. A novel takes you somewhere and asks you to look through the eyes of another person, to live another life." Barbara Kingsolver

Borysenko
"If empathy can be conceived as a process that permits a temporary "jumping" out of self to affectively identify with non-self benignly, then compassion may be the emotion that resonates self with non-self to retain the expansions of external horizons."   Borysenko
 

 

Brené Brown 
"I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship." Brené Brown

Brian Eno
"When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That's one of the great feelings - to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue." Brian Eno

 

C
=====

C. JoyBell C
“I think people believe empathy to be compassion, that compassion is an inner sense (a sense of the soul). But empathy is a sense, while compassion isn't a sense. Empathy is an affinity, a communion, a comprehension. They say that empathy is compassion, but I think that the two are independent of each other. You see, through empathy you will feel what another is feeling, including all those plans for manipulation and persuasion. You will feel everything, not just the parts that make you take compassion for the person, but also all the red flags! You see, empathy is a sense that works with the other senses such as foresight and intuition. So, we can feel compassion but we have to move with empathy.” ― C. JoyBell C.
 


Carl Rogers

"Being empathic means: "To be with another in this way means that for the time being you lay aside the views and values you hold for yourself in order to enter another's world without prejudice. In some sense it means that you lay aside your self and this can only be done by a person who is secure enough in himself that he knows he will not get lost in what may turn out to be the strange or bizarre world of the other, and can comfortably return to his own world when he wishes. Perhaps this description makes clear that being empathic is a complex, demanding, strong yet subtle and gentle way of being."  Carl Rogers - Empathic: An Unappreciated Way of Being

"Over the years, however, the research evidence keeps piling up, and it points strongly to the conclusion that a high degree of empathy in a relationship is possibly the most potent and certainly one of the most potent factors in bringing about change and learning. "  Carl Rogers - Empathic: An Unappreciated Way of Being

"An empathic way of being can be learned from empathic persons. Perhaps the most important statement of all is that the ability to be accurately empathic is something which can be developed by training.  Therapists, parents and teachers can be helped to become empathic. This is especially likely to occur if their teachers and supervisors are themselves individuals of sensitive understanding.  It is most encouraging to know that this subtle, elusive quality, of utmost importance in therapy, is not something one is "born with", but can be learned, and learned most rapidly in an empathic climate. "   Carl Rogers - Empathic: An Unappreciated Way of Being

"The third facilitative aspect of the relationship is empathic understanding. This means that the therapist senses accurately the feelings and personal meanings that the client is experiencing and communicates this understanding to the client.  When functioning best, the therapist is so much inside the private world of the other that he or she can clarify not only the meanings of which the client is aware but even those just below the level of awareness.  This kind of sensitive, active listening is exceedingly rare in our lives. We think we listen, but very rarely do we listen with real understanding, true empathy. Yet listening, of this very special kind, is one of the most potent forces for change that I know."   Carl Rogers - Empathic: An Unappreciated Way of Being

"To perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the person, but without ever losing the "as if" condition. Thus, it means to sense the hurt or the pleasure of another as he senses it and to perceive the causes thereof as he perceives them, but without ever losing the recognition that it is as if I were hurt or pleased and so forth."

"The state of empathy, or being empathic, is to perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the person." Carl Rogers - Empathic: An Unappreciated Way of Being


[W]hen I can relax, and be close to the transcendental core of me, then I may behave in strange and  impulsive ways in the relationship, ways I cannot justify rationally, which have nothing to do with my thought processes. But these strange behaviors turn out to be right in some odd way. At these moments it seems that my inner spirit has reached out and touched the inner spirit of the other. Our relationship transcends itself and has become something larger (Rogers, 1986).

 [listening] 
"Man's inability to communicate is a result of his failure to listen effectively."  Carl Rogers

" when a person realizes he has been deeply heard, his eyes moisten. I think in some real sense he is weeping for joy. It is as though he were saying, "Thank God, somebody heard me. Someone knows what it's like to be me."
Carl Rogers - Experiences in Communication

"I believe I know why it is satisfying to me to hear someone. When I can really hear someone, it puts me in touch with him; it enriches my life. It is through hearing people that I have learned all that I know about individuals, about personality, about interpersonal relationships."
Carl Rogers - Experiences in Communication

"There is another peculiar satisfaction in really hearing someone: It is like listening to the music of the spheres, because beyond the immediate message of the person, no matter what that might be, there is the universal. Hidden in all of the personal communications which I really hear there seem to be orderly psychological laws, aspects of the same order we find in the universe as a whole. So there is both the satisfaction of hearing this person and also the satisfaction of feeling one's self in touch with what is universally true". 
Carl Rogers - Experiences in Communication

"When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements that seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens, how confusions that seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. I have deeply appreciated the times that I have experienced this sensitive, empathic, concentrated listening."  
Carl Rogers - Experiences in Communication

"When someone really hears you without passing judgment on you, without trying to take responsibility for you, without trying to mold you, it feels damn good. . . . When I have been listened to and when I have been heard, I am able to re-perceive my world in a new way and to go on. It is astonishing how elements which seem insoluble become soluble when someone listens. How confusions which seem irremediable turn into relatively clear flowing streams when one is heard. "  Carl Rogers - Experiences in Communication

"So, as you can readily see from what I have said thus far, a creative, active, sensitive, accurate, empathic, nonjudgmental listening is for me terribly important in a relationship. It is important for me to provide it; it has been extremely important, especially at certain times in my life, to receive it. I feel that I have grown within myself when I have provided it; I am very sure that I have grown and been released and enhanced when I have received this kind of listening. "
Carl Rogers - Experiences in Communication
 

 But when someone understands how it feels and seems to be ME, without wanting to analyze me or judge me, then I can blossom and grow in that climate. And research bears out this common observation. When the therapist can grasp the moment-to-moment experiencing which occurs in the inner world of the client as the client sees it and feels it, without losing the separateness of his own identity in this empathic process, then change is likely to occur. Carl Rogers  Book "On Becoming A Person". Section: Characteristics of a Helping Relationship"

"true empathy is always free of any evaluative or diagnostic quality. This comes across to the recipient with some surprise. "If I am not being judged, perhaps I am not so evil or abnormal as I have thought. " Carl Rogers

"When the other person is hurting, confused, troubled, anxious, alienated, terrified; or when he or she is doubtful of self-worth, uncertain as to identity, then understanding is called for. The gentle and sensitive companionship of an empathic stance… provides illumination and healing. In such situations deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift one can give to another".  Carl Rogers

"Powerful is our need to be known, really known by ourselves and others, even if only for a moment." Carl Rogers (not sure?)

"Empathy is a special way of coming to know another and ourself, a kind of attuning and understanding. When empathy is extended, it satisfies our needs and wish for intimacy, it rescues us from our feelings of aloneness." Carl Rogers (not sure?)
 

 

Caruso
"During empathy one is simply 'there for' the other individual, when experiencing their own feelings while listening to the other, i.e. during sympathy, the listener pays attention to something about themselves, and is not 'there for' the client." "Consider how you would feel if you sensed that the individual listening to you was getting into their own 'stuff' rather than hearing and reflecting exactly what you were feeling in a moment of need?" (Caruso)
 

Chandrika
"When an individual feels for another's pain, as a superior towards an inferior, or feels sorry for a condition one cannot even imagine oneself in - that is the feeling of pity. We pity a blind person, for we don't know what blindness is. However, when we rise higher, look at the other as an equal, can probably imagine ourselves in his condition, and feel a strong bond with him, then that pity converts itself into sympathy. When, however, we identify so totally with another that he suffers, and we feel the pain; he laughs, and joy suffuses our being; he is excited, and our heart leaps in exhilaration; then we are close to the condition that is called empathy." Chandrika, author  Atma Siddhi

Charles M. Blow
One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient.”
Charles M. Blow, I Know Why the Caged Bird Shrieks, New York Times, September 19, 2012

Charles Kimball
Religion should be a source for reconciliation, for tolerance and for empathy. Charles Kimball

Charles G. Morris
"Empathy depends not only on one's ability to identify someone else's emotions but also on one's capacity to put oneself in the other person's place and to experience an appropriate emotional response" Charles G. Morris

Christel Broederlow 
Even complete strangers find it easy to talk to empaths about the most personal things, and before they know it, they have poured out their hearts and souls without intending to do so consciously. It is as though on a subconscious level that person knows instinctively that empaths would listen with compassionate understanding." - Christel Broederlow

Christian Bale 
"It's got to do with putting yourself in other people's shoes and seeing how far you can come to truly understand them. I like the empathy that comes from acting."  Christian Bale 

 

Chuang-Tzu
 

The hearing that is only in the ears is one thing.

The hearing of the understanding is another.

But the hearing of the spirit is not limited to any one faculty,
    to the ear, or to the mind.

 

Hence it demands the emptiness of all the faculties.

And when the faculties are empty, then the whole being listens.

There is then a direct grasp of what is right there before you that can never  be heard with the ear or understood with the mind.

 

Chuang-Tzu

img Wikipedia

D
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Dan Batson

"Other-oriented feelings congruent with the perceived welfare of another person."
C. D. Batson: Source: Batson, C. D. (1994). Why act for the public good? Four answers. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 603-610, p. 606.

 

Dada Vaswani
"Empathy is forgetting oneself in the joys and sorrows of another, so much so that you actually feel that the joy or sorrow experienced by another is your own joy and sorrow. Empathy involves complete identification with another." Dada Vaswani, head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission

 

Daniel Goleman

 

"Reducing the economic gap may be impossible without also addressing the gap in empathy."
 Daniel Goleman

"Empathy represents the foundation skill for all the social competencies important for work."
 
Daniel Goleman

"Empathic, emotionally intelligent work environments have a good track record of increasing creativity, improving problem solving and raising productivity."
Daniel Goleman

If your emotional abilities aren't in hand, if you don't have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.  Daniel Goleman

"Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection-or compassionate action." Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

"Empathetic people are superb at recognizing and meeting the needs of clients, customers, or subordinates. They seem approachable, wanting to hear what people have to say. They listen carefully, picking up on what people are truly concerned about, and respond on the mark,"   Primal Leadership.

The act of compassion begins with full attention, just as rapport does. You have to really see the person. If you see the person, then naturally, empathy arises. If you tune into the other person, you feel with them. If empathy arises, and if that person is in dire need, then empathic concern can come. You want to help them, and then that begins a compassionate act. So I'd say that compassion begins with attention. Daniel Goleman

If you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can't have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far." Daniel Goleman

"Simple inattention kills empathy, let alone compassion. So the first step in compassion is to notice the other's need. It all begins with the simple act of attention." Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

"Leaders with empathy do more than sympathize with people around them: they use their knowledge to improve their companies in subtle, but important ways."  Daniel Goleman

David Foster Wallace
“We all suffer alone in the real world. True empathy's impossible. But if a piece of fiction can alow us imaginatively to identify with a character's pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with their own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside. It might just be that simple.” David Foster Wallace

David Sylvester
"Daumier paints with an enormous capacity for absolute empathy; a complete identification of himself with the figures he paints. He sets forth what it feels like to do something; not what somebody looks like doing it."  David Sylvester, The New Statesman, 1963.

David Hume
A man posing for a painting
David Hume 

"The minds of men are mirrors to one another, not only because they reflect each other's emotions, but also because those rays of passions, sentiments and opinions may be often reverberated, and may decay away by insensible degrees".  David Hume, Treatise 2.2.5

 D. M. Berger:
"The capacity to know emotionally what another is experiencing from within the frame of reference of that other person, the capacity to sample the feelings of another or to put oneself in another's shoes". 
D. M. Berger: Source: Berger, D. M. (1987). Clinical empathy. Northvale: Jason Aronson, Inc. 

Dean Koontz
Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion and empathy. Dean Koontz

Readers will stay with an author, no matter what the variations in style and genre, as long as they get that sense of story, of character, of empathetic involvement.  Dean Koontz

Deepa Kodikal
"Empathy is putting yourself in another's shoes to find out what exactly that person is feeling or going through at the given time. It basically refers to being at a common wavelength with someone."

Derrick A. Bell
“Education leads to enlightenment. Enlightenment opens the way to empathy. Empathy foreshadows reform.” Derrick A. Bell, Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism 

Desmond Tutu

"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."  Desmond Tutu

You know when ubuntu is there, and it is obvious when it is absent. It has to do with what it means to be truly human, to know that you are bound up with others in the bundle of life.
  Desmond Tutu

Dieter Brüll
The social aspect of the spiritual life demands that I open myself to the other, invite him to express himself in me. In this way I am able to experience his questions of inner development as my own. Dieter Brüll, The Mysteries of Social Encounters

Douglas Adams
It can be very dangerous to see things from somebody else's point of view without the proper training.” ― Douglas Adams, The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide

 

E
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 E. H. Mayo  [listening]
"One friend, one person who is truly understanding, who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider a problem, can change our whole outlook on the world." E. H. Mayo

Edgar Allan Poe 
I fashion the expression of my face, as accurately as possible, in accordance with the expression of his, and then wait to see what thoughts or sentiments arise in my mind or heart, as if to match or correspond with the expression. Edgar Allan Poe "The Purloined Letter"

Edith Stein 
"Empathy... is the experience of foreign consciousness in general"
Edith Stein (1989/1917, p. 11). Source: Stein, E. (1989). On the problem of empathy. Washington: ICS Publications. (Original work published 1917)

Edith Wharton
 “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton 

Edward Norton
I've always thought of acting as more of an exercise in empathy, which is not to be confused with sympathy. You're trying to get inside a certain emotional reality or motivational reality and try to figure out what that's about so you can represent it.  Edward Norton
 

Elizabeth Thomas
Empathy is the only human superpower-it can shrink distance, cut through social and power hierarchies, transcend differences, and provoke political and social change. Elizabeth Thomas

Emil Nolde
"As an artist I am . . . attracted by decadence, by those who exhaust their lives in the shallow pursuits of pleasure . . . . Occasionally, I feel that spiritually I participate in all these kinds of lives."  Emil Nolde (1867-1956), German Expressionist painter. Years of Struggle, 1934.

Eric Hoffer

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.  Eric Hoffer

“Empathy, alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.” Eric Hoffer

 Eric Zorn
"Empathy is the greatest virtue. From it, all virtues flow. Without it, all virtues are an act." Eric Zorn

 Euripides
"When a good man is hurt all who would be called good must suffer with him." 
- Euripides

 

F
=====


Frans de Waal
 

 "Empathy as a complex emotion is different. It requires awareness of the other person's feelings and of one's own reactions. The appropriate reaction may not be to cry when another person cries, but to reassure them, or even to leave them alone." (Preston, de Waal)

"As in a Russian doll, however, the outer layers always contain an inner core. Instead of evolution having replaced simpler forms of empathy with more advanced ones, the latter are merely elaborations on the former and remain dependent on them. This also means that empathy comes naturally to us. It is not something we only learn later in life, or that is culturally constructed."  (de Wall, from Peacecenter)

The possibility that empathy resides in parts of the brain so ancient that we share them with rats should give pause to anyone comparing politicians with those poor, underestimated creatures.  Frans de Waal (2001-10-26). Do Humans Alone 'Feel Your Pain'?. The Chronicle.

You need to indoctrinate empathy out of people in order to arrive at extreme capitalist positions.
F. B. M. de Waal

 

Frederick Buechner
“If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Here it is love that is the frame we see them in.”
Frederick Buechner


Freud and the history of empathy
Empathy (Einfühlung) has a long history in aesthetics, psychology and psychoanalysis, and plays a greater role in Freud's thinking than readers of the Standard Edition realise. Coined by Robert Vischer in 1873, Einfühlung originally designates the projection of human feeling on to the natural world. For a quarter of a century the term remains at the centre of psychological aesthetics before Theodor Lipps, a philosopher admired by Freud for 40 years, transfers it to psychology in an attempt to explain how we discover that other people have selves.

Freud's conception of Einfühlung, first developed in 'Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious' (1905), remains heavily intellectual throughout his career; he views it as the process that allows us to understand others by putting ourselves in their place. Although the Standard Edition never translates Einfühlung as 'empathy' in a clinical context, Freud regards it as essential for establishing the rapport between patient and analyst that makes interpretation possible. This paper traces the history of Einfühlung from aesthetics and psychology to Freud and his contemporaries."
 

Fritz William
Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person..." Fritz William - Ethical Humanist
 

Fra Angelico
"He who wishes to paint Christ's story must live with Christ."
 Fra Angelico (-1455), Florentine painter of the early Renaissance. Argan, Fra Angelico and His Times, 1955

 

G
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George Washington Carver
"How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. " George Washington Carver

George McGovern
"Empathy is born out of the old biblical injunction 'Love the neighbor as thyself." George McGovern


Gustav M. Gilbert

"I told you once that I was searching for the nature of evil. I think I've come close to defining it: a lack of empathy. It's the one characteristic that connects all the defendants. A genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow man. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy." - Gustav M. Gilbert, German-speaking American prison psychologist at Spandau prison in Berlin, where Nazi war crimes defendants were held, 1945

" I told you once that I was searching for the nature of Evil. I think I've come close to defining it. A lack of empathy. It's one characteristic that connects all the defendants. A genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow man. Evil I think, is the absence of empathy. "Gustav M. Gilbert From movie - Nuremberg (2000) Nazi Leaders on trial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4gX7oUn7EA  
 

Gloria Steinem

 

Empathy is the most revolutionary emotion. (Gloria Steinem, Revolution from Within.)

I want us to organize, to tell the personal stories that create empathy, which is the most revolutionary emotion.  (Gloria Steinem,  Oct 5, 2009 Challenges Facing Women)

Q: You're here to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Utah Rape Recovery Center. Why are such centers necessary?
A. Well, this center has done such important life-saving, compassionate work for this community that everybody ought to sit down right now and write a check for ten percent of everything they make. I can't begin to thank or to support the women who have been doing this work, of rescue and compassion and empathy.
Gloria Steinem

Q: How do gender roles tie into violence against women?
A. Well, if you consider that the gender roles are just political, then what you come to see is that the full circle of human qualities is divided up so that two-thirds are masculine and one-third is feminine. Women are missing more of their human qualities, so you'll find us on the fore-front of trying to change this. But men are missing some too. And because they are taught that some inevitable qualities of vulnerability and compassion and empathy and uncertainty, sadly, are feminine. Then they suppress them and hate them and feel shame about them in themselves.

Goldie Hawn

We need to have empathy. When we lose empathy, we lose our humanity. Goldie Hawn
 

H
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Henry Ford
"If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own. "  Henry Ford

Henry David Thoreau

 

 Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eye for an instant?  Henry David Thoreau

 [listening] 
"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer."  Henry David Thoreau

 

Henri J.M. Nouwen
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey

Henry Reed
Rather than seeing dreams as containing hidden messages, see dreams as experiences of empathy. Then use empathy with the dream to reconnect with the experience of dreaming itself.  Henry Reed
 

Heinz Kohut

 

 "Empathy is the capacity to think and feel oneself into the inner life of another person."
Heinz Kohut: (1984, p. 82). Source: Kohut, H. (1984). How does analysis cure? Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
 

“the empathic understanding of the experience of other human beings is as basic an endowment of man as his vision, hearing, touch, taste and smell” (Kohut, 1997:144)

 

 

 

Homer

 

 
Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other's good, and melt at other's woe. Homer

 

I
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Ian McEwan
Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our   humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality. Ian McEwan, The Guardian, 15 September, 2001.

Ira Glass
“...these stories are a kind of beacon. By making stories full of empathy and amusement and the sheer pleasure of discovering the world, these writers reassert the fact that we live in a world where joy and empathy and pleasure are all around us, there for the noticing.” ― Ira Glass, The New Kings of Nonfiction

 

J
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J.K. Rowling
“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not - and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation - in its’ arguably most tranformative and revelatory capacity it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.” ― J.K. Rowling

Jack Handey
“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” Jack Handey

Jacob A. Belzen
"Empathy means both understanding others on their own terms and bringing them within the orbit of one's own experience." - Jacob A. Belzen

Jacqueline Novogratz
“I've learned that there is no currency like trust and no catalyst like hope. There is nothing worse for building relationships than pandering, on one hand, and preaching, on the other. And the most important quality we must all strengthen in ourselves is that of a deep human empathy, for that will provide the most hope of all--and the foundation for our collective survival.” - Jacqueline Novogratz, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World

The most important quality we must all strengthen in ourselves is that of deep human empathy, for that will provide the most hope of all, and the foundation for our collective survival.” Jacqueline Novogratz

Jacqui Rivait 
I don't believe that children are born with empathy. It is something they learn by seeing it modeled by others.  Jacqui Rivait

Jamake Highwater
"We've reached a point where we are not a very empathetic people, and art without empathy is art without an audience. My basic viewpoint is that without art we're alone."
Jamake Highwater, interviewed in Art News Magazine, August 1984. 

James Baldwin
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” James Baldwin

Jane Fonda
 

 

What I learned is, we have to listen to each other, even when we don’t agree, even when we think we hate each other. We have to listen to each others narratives. Not interrupt defensively, or with hostility, but really try to open our hearts and listen with empathy. 

I learned so much from that meeting. It was a very difficult thing to do and it was one of the best things that I ever did in my life. Look what scares you in the face, and try to understand it. Empathy, I have learned, is revolutionary.
Jane Fonda
 (Full video)  (Quote video)

Javier Bardem
I think we are living in selfish times. I'm the first one to say that I'm the most selfish. We live in the so-called 'first world,' and we may be first in a lot of things like technology, but we are behind in empathy.  Javier Bardem
 

Jean Decety

 

  "The ability to experience and understand what others feel without confusion between oneself and others" Jean Decety: (Decety & Lamm, 2006, p. 1146). Source: Decety, J., & Lamm, C. (2006). Human empathy through the lens of social neuroscience. The Scientific World Journal, 6, 1146-1163.

 

 
Jen Knox
 ”Only by examining our personal biases can we truly grow as artists; only by cultivating empathy can we truly grow as people.” Jen Knox

 

Johan Galtung

“By peace we mean the capacity to transform conflicts with empathy, without violence, and creatively -  a never-ending process” Johan Galtung


"... peace equals ability to handle conflict, with empathy, nonviolence, and creativity..."

 Johan Galtung

Jonathan Franzen
“Love is about bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are. And this is why love, as I understand it, is always specific. Trying to love all of humanity may be a worthy endeavor, but, in a funny way, it keeps the focus on the self, on the self’s own moral or spiritual well-being. Whereas, to love a specific person, and to identify with his or her struggles and joys as if they were your own, you have to surrender some of your self.” 
Jonathan Franzen, Farther Away

John Connolly
“I think the act of reading imbues the reader with a sensitivity toward the outside world that people who don't read can sometimes lack. I know it seems like a contradiction in terms; after all reading is such a solitary, internalizing act that it appears to represent a disengagement from day-to-day life. But reading, and particularly the reading of fiction, encourages us to view the world in new and challenging ways...It allows us to inhabit the consciousness of another which is a precursor to empathy, and empathy is, for me, one of the marks of a decent human being.” ― John Connolly, The Book of Lost Things

John Vaillant
Successful hunting, it could be said, is an act of terminal empathy: the kill depends on how successfully a hunter inserts himself into the umwelt of his prey--even to the point of disguising himself as that animal and mimicking its behavior.”  John Vaillant, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

John Cunningham,
a champion and clarifier of empathy,
 writes as follows:
Baruch Urieli defines empathy as "interest in and compassion for our fellow human being; it enables us to extend our inner being into that of the other person and directly experience something of his essential nature." Surprisingly, the word empathy has only recently entered our language. Originally coined [by Urieli}  in 1912 as a translation for the German word Einfühlung-"to feel into"- Carl Rogers introduced the expression into the wider culture in the 1950s when he used empathy to describe a capacity he saw emerging in the younger generation.

“ Empathy is full presence to what's alive in the other person at this moment. John Cunningham
 

John Eaton
"Empathy is the love fire of sweet remembrance and shared understanding." John Eaton

John Barton
Poets have to be sensitive to their audience, but it does not mean that they censor themselves. I realize my audience is diverse. Some will read with empathy and curiosity while others will take offense. John Barton

John Grogan,
“Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality, and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky” ― John Grogan, Marley & Me Illustrated Edition: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog

John Steinbeck
"You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself." John Steinbeck , East of Eden


John Warnock
Without television and mass communication, that knowledge wouldn't exist. So I think it actually has the possibility of turning people into more understanding and more empathetic people. John Warnoc

John Eaton 
"Empathy is the lovefire of sweet remembrance and shared understanding."  John Eaton 


John Gardner 
"We care how things turn out because the character cares-our interest comes from empathy." John Gardner

John Shirley
 I'm cursed with empathy. I'm also by nature way too opinionated.  John Shirley

Jonathan Haidt
“Empathy is an antidote to righteousness, although it’s very difficult to empathize across a moral divide.” Jonathan Haidt, from The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
 

Joshua Leonard
I'm less interested in slasher, and go more for roles that can affect you on a personal level. I'm interested in human empathy in the movies I see, and in the ones I am a part of. Joshua Leonard


K
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Karen Armstrong
“If it is not tempered by compassion, and empathy, reason can lead men and women into a moral void. (95)” ― Karen Armstrong, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

 Karl Menninger
"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand."  Karl Menninger, Prominent Psychiatrist

Karl Rove

What Mr. Obama wants in a nominee isn't really "empathy" and "understanding." He wants a liberal, activist Supreme Court justice. Karl Rove

"Empathy" is the latest code word for liberal activism, for treating the Constitution as malleable clay to be kneaded and molded in whatever form justices want. It represents an expansive view of the judiciary in which courts create policy that couldn't pass the legislative branch or, if it did, would generate voter backlash.  Karl Rove
 

Katherine Ellison
Empathy frequently informs our earliest days with our infants as we try to figure out what they need, how to comfort and satisfy them  Katherine Ellison
 

Kenneth A. Wells
A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but before he disagrees,  he wants to know exactly what it is... Kenneth A. Wells
 

Kofi Annan
“a citizen of the world in the fullest sense -- one whose vision and culture gave him a deep empathy with fellow human beings of every creed and color.” Kofi Annan

 

L
=====

Larry Barke   [listening]
Effective listeners remember that "words have no meaning - people have meaning." The assignment of meaning to a term is an internal process; meaning comes from inside us. And although our experiences, knowledge and attitudes differ, we often misinterpret each other’s messages while under the illusion that a common understanding has been achieved." Larry Barke

Lawrence J.
"Empathy is like giving someone a Psychological Hug" 
Lawrence J.

Lakhdar Brahimi 
"There is also a natural and very, very strong empathy with the underdog, with people who have suffered, people who have been pushed around by foreigners in particular, but also by their own people." Lakhdar Brahimi 

Laura Linney
"Traits like humility, courage, and empathy are easily overlooked - but it's immensely important to find them in your closest relationships." Laura Linney

Lawrence J.
"Empathy is like giving someone a Psychological Hug" Lawrence J.

Leo Buscaglia
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ― Leo Buscaglia

Lydia Millet
“It is not learning we need at all. Individuals need learning but the culture needs something else, the pulse of light on the sea, the warm urge of huddling together to keep out the cold. We need empathy, we need the eyes that still can weep.” ― Lydia Millet, Oh Pure and Radiant Heart

 

M
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Mahatma Gandhi
“I call him religious who understands the suffering of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Marc Parent
“Simple kindness as a means to no other end than itself is not something that springs up and flourishes on its own. Compassion is cultivated. Empathy needs watching over. It's not enough to simply plant the seeds. Their fruits are not native to the soil. Left to itself, the untended heart grows cold.” ― Marc Parent, Believing It All: Lessons I Learned from My Children

 
M. O´Hara
 "It is a way of perceiving and knowing and a way of being connected to other consciousnesses by which individual human beings gain access to the inner worlds of other individuals and to the workings of relationships, and whole ecologies, of which they are but parts." 
M. O´Hara: (1997, p. 303-304). Source: O'Hara, M. (1997). Relational empathy: Beyond modernist egocentrism to postmodern holistic contextualism. In A. C. Bohart & L. S. Greenberg (Eds.), Empathy reconsidered: New directions in psychotherapy (p. 295-319). Baltimore: United Book Press. 

M. Scott Peck
"You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time." M. Scott Peck

Marcus Rediker
The success of the abolitionist movement lay in its making real for people in Britain and America the slave ship's pervasive and utterly instrumental terror, which was indeed its defining feature. Marcus Rediker

Martin Buber

In the beginning was the relationship - Martin Buber

“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”  Martin Buber
 
 “When I confront a human being as my Thou and speak the basic word I-Thou to him, then he is no thing among things nor does he consist of things. He is no longer He or She, a dot in the world grid of space and time, nor a condition to be experienced and described, a loose bundle of named qualities. Neighborless and seamless, he is Thou and fills the firmament. Not as if there were nothing but he; but everything else lives in his light.”  Martin Buber

“We can be redeemed only to the extent to which we see ourselves.” Martin Buber

“Man wishes to be confirmed in his being by man, and wishes to have a presence in the being of the other…. Secretly and bashfully he watches for a YES which allows him to be and which can come to him only from one human person to another.”   Martin Buber, I and Thou

“Feeling one "has"; love occurs.”  Martin Buber, I and Thou

[relationship]
All actual life is encounter.”  Martin Buber

Mark H. Davis
"Empathy in broadest sense refers to the reactions of one individual to the observed experiences of another" 
Mark H. Davis:(Davis, 1983, p. 113). Source: Davis, M. H. (1983). Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 113-126. 

 Marshall Rosenberg  (more quotes)

"I recommend allowing others the opportunity to fully express themselves before turning our attention to solutions or requests for relief. When we proceed too quickly to what people might be requesting, we may not convey our genuine interest in their feelings and needs; instead, they may get the impression that we're in a hurry to either be free of them or to fix their problem. Furthermore, an initial message is often like the tip of an iceberg; it may be followed by yet unexpressed, but related - and often more powerful - feelings. By maintaining our attention on what's going on within others, we offer them a chance to fully explore and express their interior selves. We would stem this flow if we were to shift attention too quickly either to their request or to our own desire to express ourselves."
 
Marshall B. Rosenberg, Non-Violent Communication

What evidence is there that we've adequately empathized with the other person? First, when an individual realizes that everything going on within has received full empathic understanding, they will experience a sense of relief. We can become aware of this phenomenon by noticing a corresponding release of tension in our own body. A second even more obvious sign is that the person will stop talking. If we are uncertain as to whether we have stayed long enough in the process, we can always ask, "Is there more that you wanted to say?"
Marshall B. Rosenberg, Non-Violent Communication

We need empathy to give empathy. When we sense ourselves being defensive or unable to empathize, we need to (a) stop, breathe, give ourselves empathy, (b) scream nonviolently, or (c) take time out.
Marshall B. Rosenberg, Non-Violent Communication

"Translate all self-judgments into self-empathy." Marshall B. Rosenberg,

"Self-empathy in NVC means checking in with your own feelings and needs." Marshall B. Rosenberg,

Tragically, one of the rarest commodities in our culture is empathy. People are hungry for empathy, They don't know how to ask for it.  Marshall B. Rosenberg,

"All that has been integrated into NVC has been known for centuries about consciousness, language, communication skills, and use of power that enable us to maintain a perspective of empathy for ourselves and others, even under trying conditions."- Marshall B. Rosenberg,
 “We need empathy to give empathy.” Marshall Rosenberg

”In empathy, you don’t speak at all. You speak with the eyes. You speak with your body. If you say any words at all, it’s because you are not sure you are with the person. So you may say some words. But the words are not empathy. Empathy is when the other person feels the connection with what’s alive in you. Marshall Rosenberg

“I wouldn't expect someone who's been injured to hear my side until they felt that I had fully understood the depth of their pain.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Intellectual understanding blocks empathy.” Marshall Rosenberg

”We need to receive empathy to give empathy.” Marshall Rosenberg

Translate all self-judgments into self-empathy.  Marshall Rosenberg

”Empathy lies in our ability to be present without opinion.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Empathy gives you the ability to enjoy another person's pain.” Marshall Rosenberg

”The more we empathize with the other party, the safer we feel.” Marshall Rosenberg

Self-empathy in NVC means checking in with your own feelings and needs. Marshall Rosenberg

”The number one rule of our training is empathy before education. ” Marshall Rosenberg

”It may be most difficult to empathize with those we are closest to.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Empathizing with someone's 'no' protects us from taking it personally.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Empathy allows us to re-perceive our world in a new way and move forward ” Marshall Rosenberg

”With empathy, I'm fully with them, and not full of them - that's sympathy.” Marshall Rosenberg

”With empathy we don't direct, we follow. Don't just do something, be there.” Marshall Rosenberg

”It's harder to empathize with those who appear to possess more power, status, or resources.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Our goal is to create a quality of empathic connection that allows everyone's needs to be met.” Marshall Rosenberg

”To be able to hear our own feelings and needs and to empathize with them can free us from depression.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Postpone result/solution thinking until later; it's through connection that solutions materialize - empathy before education.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Often, instead of offering empathy, we have a strong urge to give advice or reassurance and to explain our own position or feeling.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Time and again, people transcend the paralyzing effects of psychological pain when they have sufficient contact with someone who can hear them empathically.” Marshall Rosenberg

”If the other persons behavior is not in harmony with my own needs, the more I empathize with them and their needs, the more likely I am to get me own needs met.” Marshall Rosenberg

”When we sense ourselves being defensive or unable to empathize, we need to (a) stop, breathe, give ourselves empathy, (b) express nonviolently, or (c) take time out.” Marshall Rosenberg

”The best way I can get understanding from another person is to give this person the understanding, too. If I want them to hear my needs and feelings, I first need to empathize.” Marshall Rosenberg

”NVC enhances inner communication by helping us translate negative internal messages into feelings and needs. Our ability to distinguish our own feelings and needs and to empathize with them can free us from depression.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Our ability to offer empathy can allow us to stay vulnerable, defuse potential violence, help us hear the word 'no' without taking it as a rejection, revive lifeless conversation, and even hear the feelings and needs expressed through silence.” Marshall Rosenberg

”Life-Enriching Education: an education that prepares children to learn throughout their lives, relate well to others, and themselves, be creative, flexible, and venturesome, and have empathy not only for their immediate kin but for all of humankind/” Marshall Rosenberg

”Peace requires something far more difficult than revenge or merely turning the other cheek; it requires empathizing with the fears and unmet needs that provide the impetus for people to attack each other. Being aware of those feelings and needs, people lose their desires to attack back because they see the human ignorance leading to those attacks. Instead, their goal becomes providing the empathic connection and education that will enable them to transcend their violence and engage in cooperative relationships.'” Marshall Rosenberg

--------------------
“Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing. Instead of offering empathy, we often have a strong urge to give advice or reassurance and to explain our own position or feeling. Empathy, however, calls upon us to empty our mind and listen to others with our whole being.

In nonviolent communication, no matter what words others may use to express themselves, we simply listen for their observations, feelings, needs, and requests. Then we may wish to reflect back, paraphrasing what we have understood. We stay with empathy, allowing others the opportunity to fully express themselves before we turn our attention to solutions or requests for relief.

We need empathy to give empathy. When we sense ourselves being defensive or unable to empathize, we need to
(A) stop, breathe, give ourselves empathy,
(B) screamed nonviolently, or
(C) take time out.” 
Marshall Rosenberg
--------------

Have you ever been surfing? Imagine you’re on your surfboard now, waiting for the big one to come. Get ready to get carried with that energy. Now, here it comes. Are you with that energy right now? That’s empathy. No words – just being with that energy. When I connect with what’s alive in another person, I have feelings similar to when I’m surfing.

To do this, you can bring in nothing from the past. So the more psychology you’ve studied,
the harder it will be to empathize. The more you know the person, the harder it will be to empath-
ize. Diagnoses and past experiences can instantly knock you off the board. This doesn’t mean
denying the past. Past experiences can stimulate what’s alive in this moment. But are you
present to what was alive then or what the person is feeling and needing in this moment?

If you think ahead to what to say next – like how to fix it or make the person feel better –
BOOM! Off the board. You’re into the future. Empathy requires staying with the energy that’s
here right now. Not using any technique. Just being present. When I have really connected to
this energy, it’s like I wasn’t there. I call this “watching the magic show.” In this presence, a very
precious energy works through us that can heal anything, and this relieves me from my “fix-it”
tendencies. - from “Surfing Life Energy and Watching the Magic Show,” Marshall Rosenberg

When you ride the wave, the thrill is so exhilarating that you forget everything else. You live in the moment where nothing else matters, so intent on riding the wave perfectly that you and the wave become one. Pain and worry disappear, replaced by euphoria, akin to flow. Similarly, when giving empathy, you want to strive for this kind of total presence for the person you are listening to.   Marshall Rosenberg

To do this, you can bring in nothing from the past. So the more psychology you’ve studied, the harder it will be to empathize. The more you know the person, the harder it will be to empathize. Diagnoses and past experiences can instantly knock you off the board. This doesn’t mean denying the past. Past experiences can stimulate what’s alive in this moment. But are you present to what was alive then or what the person is feeling and needing in this moment? Marshall Rosenberg

If you think ahead to what to say next – like how to fix it or make the person feel better – BOOM! Off the board! You’re into the future. Empathy requires staying with the energy that’s here right now. Not using any technique. Just being present. When I have really connected to this energy, it’s like I wasn’t there. I call this “watching the magic show.” In this presence, a very precious energy works through us that can heal anything, and this relieves me from my “fix-it” tendencies. - Marshall B. Rosenberg,

-----------------
“The Chinese philosopher Chuang-Tzu stated that true empathy requires listening with the whole
being: ‘The hearing that is only in the ears is one thing. The hearing of the understanding is another. But the hearing of the spirit is not limited to any one faculty, to the ear, or to the mind. Hence it demands the emptiness of all the faculties. And when the faculties are empty, then the whole being listens. There is then a direct grasp of what is right there before you that can never be heard with the ear or understood with the mind.’”
 Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life


Martha C. Nussbaum
“As we tell stories about the lives of others, we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events. At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves.”  Martha C. Nussbaum


Martin Hoffman

"An affective response more appropriate to another's situation than one's own" 
Martin Hoffman: (1987, p. 48). Source: Hoffman, M. L. (1987). The contribution of empathy to justice and moral judgment. In N. Eisenberg & J. Strayer (Eds.), Empathy and its development (p. 47-80). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Martin Luther King
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look easily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. Martin Luther King

Matthew Scully
“Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind's capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don't; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us.” ― Matthew Scully, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy

Mary Gordon

“We are born with the capacity for empathy. An ability to recognize emotions transcends race, culture, nationality, class, gender, and age.”  Mary Gordon, Founder/President, Roots of Empathy

"Your quest for an empathic culture, or a Culture of Empathy as you call it, I think is a great quest. I don't think it's ever to late to develop empathy. It starts so naturally... I think we should do everything that we can to cultivate empathy and we can do it at every level. So why would we not."  Mary Gordon

"When I talk to city officials,  I speak of the fact that there is fluoride in our water supply to prevent tooth decay.  I tell them we need empathy in the water supply to prevent social decay."   Mary Gordon

"The real importance of understanding how you feel and others feel really helps children navigate every social relationship in their lives," said Mary Gordon, founder of Roots of Empathy."  Mary Gordon
 

Maureen O'Hara
Empathy provides more than just information about relationships. It is an expression of being in relationship. It is not just a means to better healing relationship, but because it recenters relationship as a central organizing feature of psychic life, empathy itself is healing. The experience of being known and accepted deeply by another, being aware of another being aware of you, what Jordan calls "mutual empathy"( Jordan, et al., 1991),Maureen O'Hara

Maya Angelou
"I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it." - Maya Angelou

"Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike."  Maya Angelou

McCollough
Moral imagination is the capacity to empathize with others, i.e., not just to feel for oneself, but to feel with and for others. This is something that education ought to cultivate and that citizens ought to bring to politics. McCollough 1992

Mehmet Oz
"The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy." Mehmet Oz
 

Mencius
 “When I say that all men have the mind which cannot bear to see the suffering of others, my meaning is illustrated this way: when two men suddenly see a child about to fall into a well, they all have a feeling of alarm and distress, not to gain friendship with the child’s parents, nor to seek the praise of their neighbors and friends . . . From such a case, we see that a man without the feeling of commiseration is not a man . . . The feeling of commiseration is the beginning of humanity.”
Mencius

Meryl Streep

 “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other.” Meryl Streep

I've thought a lot about the power of empathy. In my work, it's the current that connects me and my actual pulse to a fictional character in a made up story, it allows me to feel, pretend feelings and sorrows and imagined pain.. Meryl Streep

My own sense of well-being and purpose in the world. That comes from studying the world feelingly, with empathy in my work. It comes from staying alert and alive and involved in the lives of the people that I love and the people in the wider world who need my help.  Meryl Streep

I've thought a lot about the power of empathy. In my work, it's the current that connects me and my actual pulse to a fictional character in a made up story, it allows me to feel, pretend feelings and sorrows and imagined pain. Meryl Streep

I thought, "Why? and how did we evolve with this weak, and useless passion in tact within the deep heart's core?" And the answer as I've formulated it to myself is that empathy is the engine that powers all the best in us.   Meryl Streep

Michael P. Nichols  [listening]
"There's a big difference between showing interest and really taking interest."  Michael P. Nichols
The Lost Art of Listening

Michelle Rodriguez
I think empathy is a beautiful thing. I think that's the power of film though. We have one of the most powerful, one of the greatest communicative tools known to man. Michelle Rodriguez

Motti Lerner
“Plays can create empathy. If you put a Muslim character on stage, and make him a full character, you're making it possible for the audience to feel empathy, and a little empathy on both sides would help.” Motti Lerner

Maya Angelou
"I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it." Maya Angelou


N
=====

Nancy Eisenberg
"An affective response that stems from the apprehension or comprehension of another's emotional state or condition, and that is similar to what the other person is feeling or would be expected to feel" 
Nancy Eisenberg: (2002, p. 135). Source: Eisenberg, N. (2002). Empathy-related emotional responses, altruism, and their socialization In R. J. Davidson & A. Harrington (Eds.). Visions of compassion: Western scientists and Tibetan Buddhists examine human nature (p. 131-164). London: Oxford University Press. 

Neal Maxwell 
Trying to observe the slow shift from self-centeredness to empathy is like trying to watch grass grow. - Neal Maxwell. 

Neil Gaiman
"Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals". Neil Gaiman

"I believe that stories are incredibly important, possibly in ways we don't understand, in allowing us to make sense of our lives, in allowing us to escape our lives, in giving us empathy and in creating the world that we live in." Neil Gaiman

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Humans aren't as good as we should be in our capacity to empathize with feelings and thoughts of others, be they humans or other animals on Earth. So maybe part of our formal education should be training in empathy. Imagine how different the world would be if, in fact, that were 'reading, writing, arithmetic, empathy.' Neil deGrasse Tyson
 

 

Nikki Giovanni
“I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.” ― Nikki Giovanni

Norman Solomon
The official directives needn't be explicit to be well understood: Do not let too much empathy move in unauthorized directions. Norman Solomon

 

O
=====

Oliver Wendell Holmes    [listening] 
"It is the province of knowledge to speak And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen."  Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oprah Winfrey 

Leadership is about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people for the purpose of inspiring and empowering their lives.– Oprah Winfrey

The struggle of my life created empathy - I could relate to pain, being abandoned, having people not love me.  Oprah Winfrey

P
=====

Patricia Sun
The discoveries of how we can grow and the insights we need to have really come from the inside out. To have genuine empathy, not as a make-nice tool but as an understanding, is essential to the next step. Patricia Su


Patricia Piccinini 
I think people perceive my creatures as absurd because they look different, but at the same time, they are a little bit familiar. I want people to feel a kind of empathy with them. When you think about it, all nature is kind of strange looking.. in fact, I'm a strange a looking creature. Patricia Piccinini 


 Pema Chödrön
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”   Pema Chödrön
 

Percy Bysshe Shelley
The great secret of morals is love; or a going out of our nature, and an identification of ourselves with the beautiful which exists in thought, action, or person, not our own.  A man, to be greatly good, must imagine intensely and comprehensively; he must put himself in the place of another and of many others; the pains and pleasure of his species must become his own. The great instrument of moral good is the imagination. - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Peter Singer
“Were we incapable of empathy – of putting ourselves in the position of others and seeing that their suffering is like our own – then ethical reasoning would lead nowhere. If emotion without reason is blind, then reason without emotion is impotent.” ― Peter Singer, Writings on an Ethical Life


Peter Senge    [listening] 
"To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the 'music,' but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning." Peter Senge

 

Philip K. Dick
“Empathy, he once had decided, must be limited to herbivores or anyhow omnivores who could depart from a meat diet. Because,ultimately, the empathic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the successful and the defeated.” ― Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?


Q
=====


R

=====

R.A. Salvatore
“Loss of empathy might well be the most enduring and deep-cutting scar of all, the silent blade of an unseen emey, tearing at our hearts and stealing more than our strength- Drizzt Do'Urden"  R.A. Salvatore, The Silent Blade

Rachel Corrie
People in Third World countries think and laugh and smile, just like us. We have got to understand that we are them; they are us. Rachel Corrie (as a 10-year-old)

Rain Bojangles
“Love those who offend, for they reveal you to yourself.” Rain Bojangles

 Ralph Fiennes
He's really sort of the devil. He's completely emotionally detached. He has no empathy. You find that in psychopaths. It's about power with Voldemort. It's an aphrodisiac for him. Power makes him feel alive.  Ralph Fiennes

Rollo May
The fundamental element of all healing is empathy, where there is a nonverbal interchange
of mood, belief, and attitude between any two people who have a significant relationship. An empathic
healer is much more likely to be "present" and to be genuinely listening to what is occurring at the
moment. Such a healer can put aside preconceived notions about what needs to be done, making it
easier to discover what the patient really needs. Empathy is the way in which one person can intuitively
and directly understand or "reach into" another person without using words. Empathy can set the mood
for what is going to happen. The strange thing about healing, however, is that it often occurs with
negative emotions. And the effective therapist must be able to respond to, and bring up to the client, any
emotion that is genuinely therapeutic.  Rollo May

Ralph Nichols
"The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them."  Ralph Nichols

 Robert Greenleaf    [listening] 
"Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much."  Robert Greenleaf

 Robin Grille
“Our understanding of early childhood development has grown so rapidly in recent years that we can now say the following with unprecedented confidence: The human brain and heart that are met primarily with empathy in the critical early years cannot and will not grow to choose a violent or selfish life.” Robin Grille

R. R. Greenson
"To empathize means to share, to experience the feelings of another person." 
R. R. Greenson: (1960, p. 418). Source: Greenson, R. R. (1960). Empathy and its vicissitudes. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 41, 418-424 

Richard Powers
"We will never be able to inhabit the conscious state of another person. Our subjectivity is an inviolable, unenterable state. On the other hand, there's much in the new neurology to suggest that empathetic links have also been evolutionarily selected for. The brain has these amazing circuits, mirror neuron circuits, which are actively firing and activating motor and visual circuits simply as simulations of other people's activities. That suggests the brain itself is manufacturing empathy circuits that allow us to participate in rich and complicated ways in the sensibilities, actions and motivations of other people." - Richard Powers

Robert K. Cooper     [listening]  
"Many 'active listening' seminars are, in actuality, little more than a shallow theatrical exercise in appearing like you're paying attention to another person. The requirements: Lean forward, make eye contact, nod, grunt, or murmur to demonstrate you're awake and paying attention, and paraphrase something back every 30 seconds or so. As one executive I know wryly observed, many inhabitants of the local zoo could be trained to go through these motions, minus the paraphrasing." Robert K. Cooper -  Executive EQ

Robert Jensen
The way we are educated and entertained keep us from knowing about or understanding the pain of others . Robert Jensen

 
 Robert Schuller    [listening] 
"Big egos have little ears." Robert Schuller
 

Roger Ebert

I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization. Roger Ebert's Journal" column (19 May 2010)

films...to the degree that they glorify mindlessness and short attention span they are bad, to the degree that they encourage EMPATHY with people not like ourselves and encourage us to think about life, they are good." Roger Ebert

In the vast majority of movies, everything is done for the audience. We are cued to laugh or cry, be frightened or relieved; Hitchcock called the movies a machine for causing emotions in the audience. Bresson (and Ozu) take a different approach. They regard, and ask us to regard along with them, and to arrive at conclusions about their characters that are our own. This is the cinema of empathy. Roger Ebert

"We all are born with a certain package. We are who we are: where we were born, who we were born as, how we were raised. We're kind of stuck inside that person, and the purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people. And for me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It lets you understand a little bit more about different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us." Roger Ebert "Life Itself"

Ron Paul
Instead of Bombs and Bribes, Let’s Try Empathy and Trade

Sadly, one thing that has entirely escaped modern American foreign policy is empathy. Without much humility or regard for human life, our foreign policy has been reduced to alternately bribing and bombing other nations, all with the stated goal of "promoting democracy." But if a country democratically elects a leader who is not sufficiently pro-American, our government will refuse to recognize them, will impose sanctions on them, and will possibly even support covert efforts to remove them. Democracy is obviously not what we are interested in. Rep. Ron Paul, October 06, 2009

Roy Schafer
"Empathy involves the inner experience of sharing in and comprehending the momentary psychological state of another person"  (1959, p. 345). Source: Roy Schafer: Schafer, R. (1959). Generative empathy in the treatment situation. The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 28, 342-373. 
 

Rudolf Steiner

 When man faces man the one attempts to put the other to sleep and the other
continuously wants to maintain his uprightness. But this is, to speak in the
Goethean sense, the archetypal phenomenon of social science... [This
sleeping-into] we may call the social principle, the social impulse of the new
era: we have to live over into the other; we have to dissolve with our soul into
the other. Rudolf Steiner (lecture on 11.10.1919)

“Just as in the body, eye and ear develop as organs of perception, as senses for bodily processes, so does a man develop in himself soul and spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds are opened to him. For those who do not have such higher senses, these worlds are dark and silent,
just as the bodily world is dark and silent for a being without eyes and ears.”
 Rudolf Steiner

Rumi

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and right doing, there is a field. I will meet you there. Rumi

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”  Rumi

 

S
=====

Sam Vaknin
"The ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. The most obvious example, perhaps, is that of the actor or singer who genuinely feels the part he is performing." Sam Vaknin

Simon Baron-Cohen

"Empathy occurs when we suspend our single-minded focus of attention and instead adopt a double-minded foucus of attention. When our attention lapses into single focus, empathy has been turned off. When we shift our attention to dual focus empathy has been turned on. Empathy is our ability to identify what someone else is thinking or feeling and to respond to there thought or feelings with an approriate emotion. Empathy makes the other person feel valued, enabling them to feel that their thoughts and feelings have been heard. "  Simon Baron-Cohen

Empathy is like a universal solvent. Any problem immersed in empathy becomes soluble.”
Simon Baron-Cohen

"Empathy is like a universal solvent. Any problem immersed in empathy becomes soluble. It is effective as a way of anticipating and resolving interpersonal problems, whether this is a marital conflict, an international conflict, a problem at work, difficulties in a friendship, political deadlocks, a family dispute, or a problem with a neighbor." Simon Baron-Cohen

“Empathy cannot by definition oppress anyone”
Simon Baron-Cohen
 

Simone Weil

Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity. Simone Weil

The capacity to give one's attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. Nearly all those who think they have the capacity do not possess it. Simone Weil
 

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at, and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love; you may give it any name you like. Love says "I am everything". Wisdom says "I am nothing". Between the two, my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Stanley I. Greenspan
“Empathy comes from being empathized with,”
 

Dr. Stanley I. Greenspan, clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine, “Great Kids” (Da Capo, 2007).

Stephen Batchelor
“To embrace suffering culminates in greater empathy, the capacity to feel what it is like for the other to suffer, which is the ground for unsentimental compassion and love.” Stephen Batchelor (Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist)
 

Stephen Covey

"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They're either speaking or preparing to speak. They're filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people's lives."  Stephen Covey

"Seek to understand rather than be understood".
 Stephen Covey

"Empathy takes time, and efficiency is for things, not people." Stephen Covey

"When you listen with empathy to another person, you give that person psychological air"  Stephen Covey 

The more deeply you understand other people, the more you will appreciate them, the more reverent you will feel about them. To touch the soul of another human being is to walk on holy ground. Stephen R. Covey

"The more authentic you become, the more genuine in your expression, particularly regarding personal experiences and even self-doubts, the more people can relate to your expression and the safer it makes them feel to express themselves. That expression, in turn, feeds on the other person's spirit, and genuine creative empathy takes place, producing new insights and learnings and a sense of excitement and adventure that keeps the process going." Stephen Covey

"Empathic listening takes time, but it doesn't take anywhere near as much time as it takes to back up and correct misunderstandings when you're already miles down the road; to redo; to live with unexpressed and unsolved problems; to deal with the results of not giving people psychological air." Stephen Covey

Steve Martin
“Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you'll be a mile away and have his shoes.”  Steve Martin


Steven Pinker

“Fiction is empathy technology.” - Steven Pinker

Human nature is complex. Even if we do have inclinations toward violence, we also have inclination to empathy, to cooperation, to self-control. Steven Pinker

Susan Sarandon

 When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you.  Susan Sarandon

I think I'm an actor because I have very strong imagination and empathy. I never studied acting, but those two qualities are exactly the qualities that make for an activist.  Susan Sarandon

“I hope they're present in their lives and feel some kind of empathy. I think a lot of the mistakes that have been made in the world have been through a lack of empathy. If you can identify with someone else and empathise with someone else, then activism is a short step away,” she explained in an interview with Parade.

 

Sue Gerhardt
"Empathy is one of our highest human skills and holds families and societies together. Feeling connected to other people is probably the deepest satisfaction we will ever know. How terrible for children who are being brought up without that capacity" Sue Gerhardt,  'Why Love Matters?"

 

Sue Monk Kidd

"There's a gap somehow between empathy and activism. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of 'soul force' - something that emanates from a deep truth inside of us and empowers us to act. Once you identify your inner genius, you will be able to take action, whether it's writing a check or digging a well." Sue Monk Kidd
 

Sydney J Harris   [self-empathy]
The art of listening needs its highest development in listening to oneself; our most important task is to develop an ear that can really hear what we're saying.  Sydney J Harris


 

 

T
=====

 

Tahereh Maf
“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” ― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me


Temple Grandin
Normal people have an incredible lack of empathy. They have good emotional empathy, but they don't have much empathy for the autistic kid who is screaming at the baseball game because he can't stand the sensory overload. Or the autistic kid having a meltdown in the school cafeteria because there's too much stimulation. Temple Grandin
 

Theodore C. Sorensen
We shall listen, not lecture; learn, not threaten. We will enhance our safety by earning the respect of others and showing respect for them. In short, our foreign policy will rest on the traditional American values of restraint and empathy, not on military might.  Theodore C. Sorensen

 

Terri Apter
When a mother quarrels with a daughter, she has a double dose of unhappiness hers from the conflict, and empathy with her daughter's from the conflict with her. Throughout her life a mother retains this special need to maintain a good relationship with her daughter. Terri Apter

Terry Tempest Williams
“What is real to me is the power of our awareness when we are focused on something beyond ourselves. It is a shaft of light shining in a dark corner. Our ability to shift our perceptions and seek creative alternatives to the conondrums of modernity is in direct proportion to our empathy. Can we imagine, witness, and ultimately feel the suffering of another?” ― Terry Tempest Williams, Finding Beauty in a Broken World

 

 Thich Nhat Hanh

 The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. Thich Nhat Hanh

 "The most important thing is that we need to be understood. We need someone to be able to listen to us and to understand us. Then we will suffer less."  Thich Nhat Hanh

“We have to understand in order to be of help. We all have pain, but we tend to suppress it, because we don’t want it to come up to our living room. the most important thing is that we need to be understood. We need someone to be able to listen to us and to understand us, then we will suffer less, but everyone is suffering, and no one wants to listen. We don’t know how to express ourselves so that people can understand. because we suffer so much, the way we express our pain hurts other people, and they don’t want to listen.” Thich Nhat Hanh

"Listening is a very deep practice….You have to empty yourself. You have to leave space in order to listen….especially to people we think are our enemies – the ones we believe are making our situation worse. When you have shown your capacity for listening and understanding, the other person will begin to listen to you, and you have a change to tell him or her of your pain, and it’s your turn to be healed. This is the practice of peace.” 
Thich Nhat Hanh

Reconciliation is a deep practice that we can do with our listening and our mindful speech. To reconcile means to bring peace and happiness to nations, people, and members of our family.... In order to reconcile, you have to possess the art of deep listening, 
Thich Nhat Hanh

"Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it compassionate listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart." Thich Nhat Hanh

 


Thomas Berry

"If the earth does grow inhospitable toward human presence, it is primarily because we have lost our sense of courtesy toward the earth and its inhabitants. Thomas Berry

 

Thomas Nagel
"Altruism itself depends on a recognition of the reality of other persons, and on the equivalent capacity to regard oneself as merely one individual among many." Thomas Nagel, 1970/1978, p. 3

 

Thomas More
Love is that enviable state that knows no envy or vanity, only empathy and a longing to be greater than oneself. Thomas More

 

Tom Smith
“People of quite different ideological persuasions have come to endorse empathy and altruism. Liberals of course have traditionally supported social programs to care for the disadvantaged and, as highlighted by President Bush's 'compassionate conservative' self-labeling, many of those to the right also embrace altruism. Likewise, religious conservatives always have emphasized empathy and altruism as a part of Christian charity.” Tom Smith


Tim Finn

"True contentment comes with empathy." Tim Finn

 

 

U
=====

Unknown

"Empathy is trying on someone else's shoes - Sympathy--wearing them." Unknown


"If you could actually stand in someone else's shoes to hear what they hear, see what they see, and feel what they feel, you would honestly wonder what planet they live on, and be totally blown away by how different their "reality" is from yours. You'd also never, in a million years, be quick to judge again."  unknown

"Two parts of empathy: Skill (tip of iceberg) and Attitude (mass of the iceberg)." - Unknown

 
Friendship is a living thing that lasts only as long as it is nourished with kindness, EMPATHY and understanding. Unknown 

Hindu proverb 
Those who give have all things.
Those who withhold have nothing. Hindu proverb

Cuban Proverb    [listening] 
"Listening looks easy, but it's not simple. Every head is a world." Cuban Proverb

Turkish Proverb    [listening] 
"If speaking is silver, then listening is gold." Turkish Proverb

 

W
=====

Walt Whitman
"In all people I see myself - none more, and not one a barleycorn less;
And the good or bad I say of myself, I say of them.
 "
Walt Whitman

"The mother condemned for a witch and burnt with dry
wood, and her children gazing on;
The hounded slave that flags in the race and leans by the
fence, blowing and covered with sweat,
The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck,
The murderous buckshot and the bullets,
All these I feel or am.
"
WALT WHITMAN, Song of Myself,

Walter Stephan
It is difficult to hate people with whom you empathize. Walter Stephan and Krystina Finlay

William Fulbright
"There are many respects in which America, if it can bring itself to act with the magnanimity and the empathy appropriate to its size and power, can be an intelligent example to the world."  J. William Fulbright


 

William Ickes

 "The ability to infer the specific content of another person's thoughts and feelings"
William Ickes: (1997, s. 3). Source:
Ickes, W. (1997). Empathic accuracy. New York: Guilford Press.

"Empathically accurate perceivers are those who are consistently good at 'reading' other people's thoughts and feelings. All else being equal, they are likely to be the most tactful advisors, the most diplomatic officials, the most effective negotiators, the most electable politicians, the most productive salespersons, the most successful teachers, and the most insightful therapists." William John Ickes


Wispe
"In empathy one substitutes oneself for the other person; in sympathy one substitutes others for oneself. The object of empathy is understanding. The object of sympathy is the other person's well-being. In sum, empathy is a way of knowing; sympathy is a way of relating."  Wispe


Y
=====

Yann Martel
“When your own life is threatened, your sense of empathy is blunted by a terrible, selfish hunger for survival.”  Yann Martel, Life of Pi

 

Z
=====

Zebuhr
"Arabic employs a system of root words, where several hundred words can be related back to the root meaning. Sympathy in Arabic comes from the root word ???. It has many meanings but the most common are to bend, to incline, be favorably disposed to, have or feel compassion, awaken affection towards, or close to ones heart. Empathy can be traced back to three root words. The first is ???, demonstrating again that one cannot feel empathy without feeling sympathy also. The second is ???, meaning attach closely, embrace, hug, or associate closely. The third root is ???, meaning to put on a shirt, clothe, wrap in, pass into another body (spirit), or materialize in another body. The third meaning is closest to that of understanding. This implies that a person cannot fully experience another person or object unless they can place themselves into the other person or object and fully understand what it is like to be that person or object." (Zebuhr) 

Zooey Deschanel
I feel like songwriting is an experiment in empathy. Zooey Deschanel

Sub Topics


Arts  (acting, writing, reading)
=====================

Andre Dubois

“writing is a sustained act of empathy.”  Andre Dubois

Ann Patchett
“Reading fiction not only develops our imagination and creativity, it gives us the skills to be alone. It gives us the ability to feel empathy for people we've never met, living lives we couldn't possibly experience for ourselves, because the book puts us inside the character's skin.”  Ann Patchett


Christian Bale 
"It's got to do with putting yourself in other people's shoes and seeing how far you can come to truly understand them. I like the empathy that comes from acting."  Christian Bale 

David Sylvester
"Daumier paints with an enormous capacity for absolute empathy; a complete identification of himself with the figures he paints. He sets forth what it feels like to do something; not what somebody looks like doing it." David Sylvester, The New Statesman

David Foster Wallace
“We all suffer alone in the real world. True empathy's impossible. But if a piece of fiction can alow us imaginatively to identify with a character's pain, we might then also more easily conceive of others identifying with their own. This is nourishing, redemptive; we become less alone inside. It might just be that simple.” David Foster Wallace

Edward Norton
"I've always thought of acting as more of an exercise in empathy, which is not to be confused with sympathy. You're trying to get inside a certain emotional reality or motivational reality and try to figure out what that's about so you can represent it."  Edward Norton

Ira Glass
“...these stories are a kind of beacon. By making stories full of empathy and amusement and the sheer pleasure of discovering the world, these writers reassert the fact that we live in a world where joy and empathy and pleasure are all around us, there for the noticing.” ― Ira Glass, The New Kings of Nonfiction


James Baldwin
“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.” James Baldwin
 


Jen Knox

“Only by examining our personal biases can we truly grow as artists; only by cultivating empathy can we truly grow as people.”   Jen Knox


Meryl Streep

"I've thought a lot about the power of empathy. In my work, it's the current that connects me and my actual pulse to a fictional character in a made up story, it allows me to feel, pretend feelings and sorrows and imagined pain.". Meryl Streep

Michelle Rodriguez
"I think empathy is a beautiful thing. I think that's the power of film though. We have one of the most powerful, one of the greatest communicative tools known to man." Michelle Rodriguez

Motti Lerner
“Plays can create empathy. If you put a Muslim character on stage, and make him a full character, you're making it possible for the audience to feel empathy, and a little empathy on both sides would help.” Motti Lerner

Nikki Giovanni
“I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you'd get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.” Nikki Giovanni

Sam Vaknin
"The ability to imagine oneself in another's place and understand the other's feelings, desires, ideas, and actions. The most obvious example, perhaps, is that of the actor or singer who genuinely feels the part he is performing." Sam Vaknin

Steven Pinker
“Fiction is empathy technology.” Steven Pinker

Susan Sarandon

When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you....  
I think I'm an actor because I have very strong imagination and empathy. I never studied acting, but those two qualities are exactly the qualities that make for an activist.  Susan Sarandon

“I think I'm an actor because I have very strong imagination and empathy. I never studied acting, but those two qualities are exactly the qualities that make for an activist.”  Susan Sarandon

Zooey Deschanel
I feel like songwriting is an experiment in empathy. Zooey Deschanel


Animals
=======

Matthew Scully,
“Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind's capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don't; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us.” 
 Matthew Scully, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy
 

Criticisms
=======
 

Mark Honigsbaum
"Moreover, far from being a guide to what is right, empathy often leads us astray, as when judges go easier on white-collar criminals who share their social background, which is why we frequently invoke other values and principles to balance such tendencies."  Mark Honigsbaum

 

Fear
=======

Bertrand Russell
“Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” Bertrand Russell

 

Judgments
=========

Abraham Lincoln
I do not like that man. I need to get to know him better. Abraham Lincoln

 

Peace
=======

Albert Einstein
"Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein
 

Johan Galtung

“By peace we mean the capacity to transform conflicts with empathy, without violence, and creatively -  a never-ending process” Johan Galtung


"... peace equals ability to handle conflict, with empathy, nonviolence, and creativity..."

 Johan Galtung

 

Barack Obama

[peace]
"each side has legitimate aspirations -- and that’s part of what makes peace so hard. And the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in the other’s shoes; each side can see the world through the other’s eyes. That’s what we should be encouraging. That’s what we should be promoting. "
Barack Obama

 

[peace]
"let us join together across denominations, religions and cultures to make a habit of empathy and reach out to those most in need. To share the blessings we enjoy and to advance the cause of peace in all corners of our world."

 

Presence
=======

Eckhart Tolle
Presence in Relationships (video 
http://youtube.com/watch?v=uLfEADDxBS4 )

Henri J. M
“Simply being with someone is difficult because it asks of us that we share in the other's vulnerability, enter with him or her into the experience of weakness and powerlessness, become part of the uncertainty, and give up control and self-determination. (p. 12)”  Henri J. M. Nouwen Donald P. McNeill Douglas A. Morrison


 Donna Quesada
“Think of the jazz improv artist responding to the musical banter among her fellow players onstage. Aside from whatever training they've done in advance, as soon as the curtain opens, they move into unknown territory together, creating something new each time by remaining in a state of undivided presence.”  Donna Quesada, The Buddha in the Classroom: Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teacher

Marshall Rosenberg
"Your presence is the most precious gift you can give to another human being."  Marshall Rosenberg

Martin Buber
“Man wishes to be confirmed in his being by man, and wishes to have a presence in the being of the other…. Secretly and bashfully he watches for a YES which allows him to be and which can come to him only from one human person to another.”   Martin Buber, I and Thou

 

Henri J.M. Nouwen
"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”  Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey


Thich Nhat Hanh

"The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now." Thich Nhat Hanh

 “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” Thich Nhat Hanh


Simone Weil
"Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity". Simone Weil

Simone Weil
"The capacity to give one's attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. Nearly all those who think they have the capacity do not possess it". Simone Weil

Stephen Levine
“Clearly, all fear has an element of resistance and a leaning away from the moment. Its dynamic is not unlike that of strong desire except that fear leans backward into the last safe moment while desire leans forward toward the next possibility of satisfaction. Each lacks presence.”  Stephen Levine
 

Ram Dass
“Be here now.”  Ram Dass, Be Here Now

Rumi

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing, and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there". Rumi

"I can sense your presence in my Heart although you belong to all the world."  Rumi

 


Imitation - mirroring
==============
Mirror Quotes

Imitation Quotes

Adam Smith

A sketch of a man facing to the right
 


Jultagi, the Korean tradition of tightrope walking

  “The mob, when they are gazing at a dancer on the slack rope, naturally writhe and twist and balance their own bodies, as they see him do." Adam Smith
     

Bellows George Dempsey and Firpo 1924.jpg
Luis Ángel Firpo sends Jack Dempsey outside the ring; painting by George Bellows

  "That this is the source of our fellow-feeling for the misery of others, that it is by changing places in fancy with the sufferer, that we come either to conceive or to be affected by what he feels, may be demonstrated by many obvious observations, if it should not be thought sufficiently evident of itself.

 When we see a stroke aimed and just ready to fall upon the leg or arm of another person, we naturally shrink and draw back our own leg or our own arm; and when it does fall, we feel it in some measure, and are hurt by it as well as the sufferer."  
Adam Smith

     


"The Man with the Twisted Lip", illustrated by Sidney Paget,

  "Persons of delicate fibres and a weak constitution of body complain, that in looking on the sores and ulcers which are exposed by beggars in the streets, they are apt to feel an itching or uneasy sensation in the correspondent part of their own bodies.

The horror which they conceive at the misery of those wretches affects that particular part in themselves more than any other; because that horror arises from conceiving what they themselves would suffer, if they really were the wretches whom they are looking upon, and if that particular part in themselves was actually affected in the same miserable manner.

The very force of this conception is sufficient, in their feeble frames, to produce that itching or uneasy sensation complained of. "
Adam Smith


That this is the source of our fellow-feeling for the misery of others, that it is by changing places in fancy with the sufferer, that we come either to conceive or to be affected by what he feels, may be demonstrated by many obvious observations, if it should not be thought sufficiently evident of itself. When we see a stroke aimed and just ready to fall upon the leg or arm of another person, we naturally shrink and draw back our own leg or our own arm; and when it does fall, we feel it in some measure, and are hurt by it as well as the sufferer. The mob, when they are gazing at a dancer on the slack rope, naturally writhe and twist and balance their own bodies, as they see him do, and as they feel that they themselves must do if in his situation.

Persons of delicate fibres and a weak constitution of body complain, that in looking on the sores and ulcers which are exposed by beggars in the streets, they are apt to feel an itching or uneasy sensation in the correspondent part of their own bodies. The horror which they conceive at the misery of those wretches affects that particular part in themselves more than any other; because that horror arises from conceiving what they themselves would suffer, if they really were the wretches whom they are looking upon, and if that particular part in themselves was actually affected in the same miserable manner. The very force of this conception is sufficient, in their feeble frames, to produce that itching or uneasy sensation complained of.

Men of the most robust make, observe that in looking upon sore eyes they often feel a very sensible soreness in their own, which proceeds from the same reason; that organ being in the strongest man more delicate, than any other part of the body is in the weakest.  Adam Smith

 

David Hume
"The minds of men are mirrors to one another, not only because they reflect each other's emotions, but also because those rays of passions, sentiments and opinions may be often reverberated, and may decay away by insensible degrees".  David Hume, Treatise 2.2.5


edgar allan poe

"When I wish to find out how wise, or how stupid, or how good, or how wicked is any one, or what are his thoughts at the moment, I fashion the expression of my face, as accurately as possible, in accordance with the expression of his, and then wait to see what thoughts or sentiments arise in my mind or heart, as if to match or correspond with the expression." edgar allan poe

A newborn rhesus macaque imitates tongue protrusion

 

Eric Hoffer
"When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other."  Eric Hoffer


George Bernard Shaw
 

       
 

File:Titian Venus Mirror (furs).jpg
Titian's Venus with a mirror

  The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself. George Bernard Shaw


John Napier

"If language was given to men to conceal their thoughts, then gesture’s purpose was to disclose them." John Napier

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Maurice Merleau-Ponty
"I live in the facial expressions of the other, as I feel him living in mine"… Merleau-Ponty

Mollie Marti
"Let others see their own greatness when looking in your eyes."  Mollie Marti

Peter Nivio Zarlenga
“The best mirror is an old friend.” Peter Nivio Zarlenga


Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
"I find that somehow, by shifting the focus of attention, I become the very thing I look at, and experience the kind of consciousness it has; I become the inner witness of the thing. I call this capacity of entering other focal points of consciousness, love; you may give it any name you like. Love says "I am everything". Wisdom says "I am nothing". Between the two, my life flows. Since at any point of time and space I can be both the subject and the object of experience, I express it by saying that I am both, and neither, and beyond both." Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

Edith Wharton

  "There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. "Edith Wharton 

Theodor Adorno
The human is indissolubly linked with imitation: a human being only becomes human at all by imitating other human beings.  Theodor Adorno

Unknown
“Friends are the mirror reflecting the truth of who we are” unknown

Voltaire
Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.
Voltaire
 

Pain
=======


Marshall Rosenberg

“I
 
wouldn't expect someone who's been injured to hear my side until they felt that I had fully understood the depth of their pain.” Marshall Rosenberg

 

Relationship
=======

 Martin Buber

"In the beginning was the relationship" - Martin Buber

“When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”  Martin Buber

All actual life is encounter.”  Martin Buber

Carl Rogers
"[W]hen I can relax, and be close to the transcendental core of me, then I may behave in strange and impulsive ways in the relationship, ways I cannot justify rationally, which have nothing to do with my thought processes. But these strange behaviors turn out to be right in some odd way. At these moments it seems that my inner spirit has reached out and touched the inner spirit of the other. Our relationship transcends itself and has become something larger" (Rogers, 1986).

Maureen O'Hara

"Empathy provides more than just information about relationships. It is an expression of being in relationship. It is not just a means to better healing relationship, but because it recenters relationship as a central organizing feature of psychic life, empathy itself is healing. The experience of being known and accepted deeply by another, being aware of another being aware of you, what Jordan calls "mutual empathy"  ( Jordan, et al., 1991),  is among the most psychologically important human experiences."  Maureen O'Hara

"a sense of belonging is a sine qua non of healthy psychological functioning everywhere. Such a
sense, beginning in infancy and continuing throughout life, comes about by experiencing mutual
empathy; by sensing oneself as part of a whole, which recognizes and accepts that one is a
member.
" Maureen O'Hara
 

Revolution
=======

Edwin Rutsch
"Creating a global culture of empathy would be the most revolutionary and far reaching event in human history. Let's do it!" Edwin Rutsch

Elizabeth Thomas
Empathy is the only human superpower - it can shrink distance, cut through social and power hierarchies, transcend differences, and provoke political and social change. Elizabeth Thomas

Gloria Steinem

 

"Empathy is the most revolutionary emotion." (Gloria Steinem, Revolution from Within.)

"I want us to organize, to tell the personal stories that create empathy, which is the most revolutionary emotion... The truth of the mater is that hierarchy and violence can't be remedied by more hierarchy and violence. The end doesn't justify the means, the means we choose decide the end we get. The means are the end. (Gloria Steinem,  Oct 5, 2009 Challenges Facing Women)  Video

"Empathy is the most radical of human emotions." Gloria Steinen


Jane Fonda

 

What I learned is, we have to listen to each other, even when we don’t agree, even when we think we hate each other. We have to listen to each others narratives. Not interrupt defensively, or with hostility, but really try to open our hearts and listen with empathy.  I learned so much from that meeting. It was a very difficult thing to do and it was one of the best things that I ever did in my life. Look what scares you in the face, and try to understand it. Empathy, I have learned, is revolutionary. Jane Fonda
 
(Full video)  (Quote video)



Martin Luther King
"A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look easily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth." Martin Luther King

 


Self-Empathy (Self-Compassion)
===========

 Martin Buber
“We can be redeemed only to the extent to which we see ourselves.” Martin Buber

Dag Hammarskjold
The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you hear what is sounding outside. And only he who listens can speak.
Dag Hammarskjold

Marshall B. Rosenberg
"If we become skilled in giving ourselves empathy, we often experience in just a few seconds a natural release of energy which then enables us to be present with the other person. If this fails to happen, however, we have a couple of other choices."  Marshall B. Rosenberg, Non-Violent Communication

 

Unbuntu - an African concept similar to empathy  - a person is a person through other persons.
=======

Desmond Tutu
"A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."  Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu
"You know when ubuntu is there, and it is obvious when it is absent. It has to do with what it means to be truly human, to know that you are bound up with others in the bundle of life."
  Desmond Tutu

 

 

 


Others
=======


From "An Experiment in Criticism" by C.S. Lewis (The Pedestrian Quarterly, No 1.)

"We seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves. Each of us by nature sees the whole world from one point of view with a perspective and a selectiveness peculiar to himself. And even when we build disinterested fantasies, they are saturated with, and limited by, our own psychology. To acquiesce in this particularity on the sensuous level—in other words, not to discount perspective—would be lunacy. We should then believe that the railway line really grew narrower as it receded into the distance. But we want to escape the illusions of perspective on higher levels too. We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own.... One of the things we feel after reading a great work is "I have got out." Or from another point of view, "I have got in"; pierced the shell of some other monad and discovered what it is like inside.

Good reading, therefore, though it is not essentially an affectional or moral or intellectual activity, has something in common with all three. In love we escape from our self into one other. In the moral sphere, every act of justice or charity involves putting ourselves in the other person’s place and thus transcending our own competitive particularity. In coming to understand anything we are rejecting the facts as they are for us in favor of the facts as they are. The primary impulse of each is to maintain and aggrandize himself. The secondary impulse is to go out of the self, to correct its provincialism and heal its loneliness. In love, in virtue, in the pursuit of knowledge, and in the reception of the arts, we are doing this. Obviously this process can be described either as an enlargement or as a temporary annihilation of the self. But that is an old paradox: "he that loseth his life shall save it".