Humankind's biggest challenge isn't climate change, large scale conflicts/wars, inequality or poverty. It is the origin of these challenges that poses most threat to our future. Reaching for the origin requires world view size upstream-system thinking. Our ecosystem is built on the principle of interconnectedness. While science allows us to understand few of the interactions in ecosystem, the entire image of our interconnectedness with other individuals, species and environment is still beyond our intellectual grasp. But we certainly understood the importance of having a system built on the principle of interconnection. As a result, we developed our social, economic and political systems that rely on our interconnectedness. The exponential growth in globalization continues to strengthen our bonds of interdependence every day. But the misconception that the greater fulfillment lies within hoarding more “toys” has deteriorated the truth of interconnection from our awareness. The resultant individualism born out of greed gives rise to our social issues and injustice. Only through the system thinking, we can understand this underlying cause of our struggle ranging from personal to global issues.
Nature has given us a tool in order to successfully coexist in perfect harmony with our surrounding. This precious gift is our ability to empathize with others. Empathy comes from the Greek empatheia—em (into) and pathos (feeling)—a penetration, a kind of travel. Empathy is our ability to connect with others physically, psychologically and emotionally. Once this connectedness dissolves the false sense of separateness between “me” and “them”, we naturally work towards the well-being of all creatures. Our approach is based on the understanding that each one of us is born with an innate capacity for empathy, but unfortunately it is oftentimes restricted to just those closest to us - our friends, family and pets. However, we have the capacity to open our empathetic heart to all. Empathy is the fundamental nature of humanity which can and should be extended to every being without the imaginary boundaries of race, religion, nation or species.
Cultivate Empathy for All is a volunteer group of empathy enthusiasts. We reach out to various groups, companies and organizations in the community and provide free presentations on ways in which empathy could be applied in their context and setting. For example, a presentation for a pharmaceutical company might highlight the benefits of empathy within their environment by creating a patient-centric work culture. Through promoting a culture of empathizing with their patient-customers, employees find intrinsic motivation, connection to the larger picture, and a shared sense of purpose while at work. Volunteers also experience benefits. Through this work, volunteers grow their skillset, deepen their practice of empathy for all, and develop a culture of empathy in our community. It is a win-win for both presenters and audience members. But this is only one of the ways to address the issue of limited Empathy. Therefore, we invite all social innovative thinkers to come together on this platform and create various ways of cultivating Empathy for all in our world.
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