Us & Them: What I Learned about Empathy from a Textbook

Apr 26, 2017

Empathy. It’s a word we’ve heard a lot in the past year. Whether woven in the closing arguments before a jury, or from elected leaders’ appealing to the better angels within us, somebody, somewhere, is calling for empathy. Even President Barack Obama, in his first public appearance since the inauguration of Donald Trump, shared his experience of practicing empathy while running for the US Senate.

Merriam Webster defines empathy as the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another...without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner. With all of the calls for empathy of late, is it that we lack the reflexive response for empathy? If so, how do we get it? And are we sure we want it?

On this week's episode of the "Us and Them" podcast, we learn about the importance of empathy and how we can get there together.

Watch Trey Kay’s presentation at Frank2017:

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

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