“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Attributed to Plato
Empathy is prominent among human qualities. To empathize is to feel what someone else feels. The empathetic learn to understand others and the problems they are going through.
The world cries out for lack of empathy. Online trolls write horrific comments on YouTube videos and social media using language that few would ever allow to leave their lips in a face-to-face situation. The anonymity offered through the Internet allows people to behave in ways that occasionally border on the sociopathic.
Bullying is not a new phenomenon, but its latest iteration is less physical; bullying today is characterized with vitriol. As a culture we seem to have an empathy deficiency in many ways.
Yet, not everyone is caught up in this empathy drought. Many people today retain their empathy, even infecting others with it. We at Max believe it is our duty to pass this ability on to our students. We want to create empathetic students, because those with empathy are ethically good people that help change the world for the better. Additionally, we have a safety and self-defense reason for teaching empathy: empathetic people may try to disengage from an aggressor, choosing instead to calm a volatile situation in favor of a route of reconciliation.
The way of empathy is the path of compassion which leads to peace; we encourage all people to walk in it.