Monthly Article Archives: December 2016

A Call for Empathy from an Unexpected SourceRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

I titled last month’s article “Our Response to Divisiveness and Anger during Uncertain Times.”  As my readers are aware, I was prompted to write the column given the significant pre-election and post-election stress, anxiety, and anger being reported by many in the United States and throughout the globe.  I noted that while I voted for Hillary Clinton, it was my hope that my thoughts would not be viewed as advancing a political agenda.  Rather, my main goal was to emphasize that each of us possessed “personal control,” that is, the capacity to choose our attitude and response to a wide spectrum of events in our lives.  I advocated that we use this choice to reinforce empathy, respect, and kindness to offset the divisiveness and lack of unity pervading our world. I was gratified by the number of people, including members of the clergy, who wrote to thank me for the article.  Several attendees at subsequent presentations also voiced appreciation for the views I conveyed.  One woman commented, “I know empathy is important, but it’s not always easy to try and see the world through the eyes of other people, especially if you don’t like them or their views.” I have

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