The Six Habits of Highly Empathic People Roman Krznaric
Mr. Krznaric talks about his new book‘The Wonderbox: Curious Histories of How to Live’
He wishes us to move into an age of empathy. The previous 300 years of culture have taught us to be individuals. He dates the thread to Hobbe’s Leviathan:
“During the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man” (Leviathan, ch. XIII). In this state any person has a natural right to the liberty to do anything he wills to preserve his own life, and life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short“
(quote from wikipedia)
The conception that the individual is the foundation has been central to the enlightement and our current society; along with this, that individuals are in a state of (muted) conflict.
Krznaric is one of the current set of voices arguing that this is not true; we are social creatures and operate as clans not individuals. He stresses that empathy is the thing which sets us apart, and offers some simple exercises to develop your empathic life.
Empathic fullfillment should be the new goal of society, not material/capitalistic success.
This talk introduced me to the concept of the human library, a place where you can “check out” a person for an hour of conversation.