One Simple Shift that Will Change the World.

Via on May 22, 2013

baby deer

Of all the skills we have that can benefit the world around us, perhaps the greatest—and least cultivated—is empathy.

Our ability to empathize and connect with others rather than disconnecting is an everyday habit with global ramifications:

If we want to expand our world, grow our ability to effect change, we must tap into our capacity for empathy.

“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.”

~ Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence.


Like The Mindful Life on Facebook.


About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter


Loved it? Leave a tip!

(We use super-secure PayPal - but don't worry - you don't need an account with PayPal.)

6 Responses to “One Simple Shift that Will Change the World.”

  1. Padma Kadag says:

    Kate…there is money to be made out there…and this is where I see the lack of sincerity with Social Intelligence and the like. I don't believe that talking about compassion equates the actual implementation of compassion/empathy. In fact, I think that it has come to a point where it is rendered meaningless similar to "mindfulness" because we use these terms to solidify our own selfishness. There is nothing new to profess a need for empathy and compassion and we certainly will not find it in research on the brain. I applaud your authentic call for empathy but it falls short with those you have decided to be it's harbinger. I do not find that Daniel Goleman and this fellow in the video are capable to turn people's minds.

    • Amen, these guys are a drop in the bucket of an ocean worth of conversation that needs to happen. I do think that the research on the brain is relevant, and for those who are of a scientific mind to look at these things, sometimes that carries more weight than just emotional appeals. I thought it was interesting and worth sharing, but the conversation on empathy and where it is lacking in society is a much bigger one than this.

  2. Padma Kadag says:

    "For westerners compassion is not authentic because it is connected to pride. It is from up to down, because it comes from those who are in some way considered better or higher, and goes toward those who are in some ways considered lower".- Thinley Norbu Rinpoche.
    We look to the third world to lift them up to our level. We empathize with animals because we feel higher than them and then kill then so they won't suffer when dying. The examples can go and on. Does the world need more compassion? Yes! It needs to be cultivated and taught.

  3. Padma Kadag says:

    What I like most about your topics is your consistent hammering away at issues which mean something. There is nothing more important in the world than actual empathy where the word empathy has dissolved and the action of empathy is happening.
    "All the joy the world contains has come through wishing happiness for others. All the misery the world contains has come through wanting pleasure for oneself.” ~Shantideva

  4. paul says:… discusses a study that "found that compassion training increased altruistic redistribution of funds to a victim encountered outside of the training context. Furthermore, increased altruistic behavior after compassion training was associated with altered activation in brain regions implicated in social cognition and emotion regulation"

Leave a Reply