This morning, I watched this RSA Animate clip on youtube (and here’s the link for the email subscribers, or you can watch it directly on rollingalpha.com).
I think it’s worth the 10 minutes of your time, even if it’s a bit sickly sweet around the edges. My general feeling is that the word “empathy” gets dropped as a buzzword a little too often, and the “let’s change the world by building empathy museums!” vibe is cloying.
I’m not into that.
But what I do like is the idea of “cognitive empathy”. Which is neither warm, fuzzy nor emotional – but rather, the wilful attempt to swap footwear. Sharing emotions is one thing; understanding perspective is another, far more productive, thing.
It also makes you more clear-sighted and less prejudiced. Where sharing emotions seems to do the opposite.