Empathy

You Are Built to Be Kind

New York Magazine: Let’s take a few minutes this dreary winter Wednesday to remind ourselves that people aren’t always the worst. In a neat little animated video published yesterday by the University of California, Berkeley, psychologist Dacher Keltner explains that we were essentially built to be nice. Keltner explains his More

The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling

The Atlantic: When an English archaeologist named George Smith was 31 years old, he became enchanted with an ancient tablet in the British Museum. Years earlier, in 1845, when Smith was only a five-year-old boy, Austen Henry Layard, Henry Rawlinson, and Hormuzd Rassam began excavations across what is now Syria More

Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding?

Slate:  Hero means everything and nothing. It encompasses the firefighters who rushed into the burning twin towers, long-distance runners who compete through chronic disease, and the wag on Twitter who makes a point you agree with. The highly specific, armor-bright figure of classical myth has grown a thousand faces. We still want him More

The Dark Side of Empathy

Pacific Standard: Public figures from President Obama to Neil deGrasse Tyson have suggested a lack of empathy is one of our species’ fundamental problems. “Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes,” writes author and prominent business-world thinker Daniel Pink. “Not only is More