January 21, 2017

You are Hard-Wired for Altruism

Through the tragic events and natural disasters of the past decades we’ve seen  extraordinary outpourings of help and compassion for neighbors – and most important, strangers. Tragic events seem to galvanize our empathy and evoke great acts of kindness in response. In the past decade we have also been the beneficiaries of valuable findings from research to better understand the motives […]
December 5, 2016

Empathy Killers

In doing some research on empathy I came across this article and found myself  so “hooked” by it that I sat down to write this piece. Nicholas Kristof’s compelling New York Times article, Where is the Love, discusses the pushback he’s received from many readers on food stamp recipients, prison inmates and the uninsured.  Writing about hungry children, Kristof shares […]
August 18, 2016

Seeking Human Kindness

“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” ― David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas Is kindness “compassion in action?” While there are distinctions made between kindness, empathy, compassion and altruism, most people experience kindness as action. With kindness we take our cognitive experience of […]
June 11, 2016

The 5 Habits of an Empathetic Communicator

How we respond to others is largely a function of habit. Many small, repetitive, automatic responses that grow over a long period of time form habits. Mostly, these reactions are outside of our conscious awareness. They’re built on foundations formed by our beliefs, and in most cases, they stayed fixed, usually reinforcing old beliefs and naturally – old habits. Charles […]
December 3, 2015

What Does it Mean to Live in the Age of Empathy?

If we are living in a so-called Age of Empathy – what does that mean? What does it mean for an individual, a co-worker, an employer, a neighbor, a city or a world society to live with empathy in the face of such harsh daily realities?  What will we do differently in our personal and social lives? What kind of […]
October 12, 2015

Well-Being is a Skill

Why is so little self-knowledge taught in most schools? Sure, there’s the Life Sciences curriculum where you’ll get some information on anatomy and communicable diseases, but mostly what we learn in school is focused on the externals. With rare exceptions, most children graduate high school with little information about how their bodies, minds and especially their emotions, work. Most of […]
September 24, 2015

Patience = Peace of Mind

Developing more patience has been a long-time personal pursuit. There’s no formula I can recommend. It takes diligence. It takes commitment. It takes attention. Mostly it takes remembering. Lately, I noticed I’ve been sliding back into some old habits of impatience. On closer examination, they’re predictable. I’ve often written about the power of patience because I have experienced that impatience […]
May 22, 2015

Renewing Our Belief in the Power of People

“I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.” Pablo Casals   The more I see others from my heart and not my judgment, the more compassion I have for my fellow human beings.  Admittedly, this is a work in progress. There’s something poignant about pilots reporting their final passenger count as having a […]
March 26, 2015

Mindful Work – AM to PM

This article was inspired by the work of Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn’s book, Work: How to Find Joy and Meaning Each Hour of the Day.  For those of you unfamiliar with the work of Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen master, poet, peace and human rights activist was exiled from his homeland of Vietnam in 1966. In the early 60’s […]