Why Accepting Our Mortality Can Make Us More Empathic?
Empathy is emotional and cognitive response to our surroundings. Having empathy means being aware. It shows that person is able to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.
Empathy defines acceptance of other and, overall, how one perceives the world.
However, the perception can be “manipulated”. American writer, economic and social theorist and activist Jeremy Rifkin argues that empathy is infinitely connected to our experience of mortality. The believer in empathic civilization suggests, the acceptance of our temporality could lead humankind to being more empathic.
Jeremy Rifkin, in a book The Empathic Civilization The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis, observes that the human capacity for empathy has been slowly evolving. However, the uncertainty humankind faces is troubling for the development. Writer asks, what does the growth of empathy tell us about human nature? And is it possible that “human beings are not inherently evil or intrinsically self-interested and materialistic, but are of a very different nature – an empathic one – and that all of the other drives that we have considered to be primary – aggression.”
Having empathy requires courageous independence, which leads to realization of inevitable – mortality. Jeremy Rifkin declares:
Marsha Onderstijn, animator and storyboard artist from Netherlands, brought another wonderful example of connection between empathy and mortality. An entirely hand drawn video represents death and its love with life.
Accepting our mortality can make us more compassionate and kind toward the others. It provides us with reason – life is fragile, we are all fragile, and we must protect and support ourselves and each other at all costs. Empathy is life. “Empathetic extension is the awareness of the vulnerability we all share, and when expressed it becomes a celebration of our common yearning to live,” writes Jeremy Rifkin.
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Mind-changing book by Jeremy Rifkin The Empathic Civilization The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis is an empathic must read that provides definition of empathy, its evolution and the best arguments to understand why having empathy is important.