Small Steps Toward Empathy

July 3, 2012

In this decade, we've seen a huge shift in momentum toward building a deeper understanding of what truly are the sources of empathy, of compassion both in the workplace, and between people interpersonally as well as intrinsically, what's happening in the brain when a person is in a state of sadness, of compassion for others or compassion for self. 

These are topics that maybe a decade ago or a couple decades ago, in the neuroscience field would not have been examined but now, there is a lot of energy and money and effort focused at understanding these basic and very, very important human processes. 

These include compassion, empathy, perception of others, perception of pain in others, because these are part of the human makeup, part of the human behavior and experience. While life tends to be so busy, could we for instance take small steps toward mindfulness?  For example; What would it be like to turn the TV off? What would it be like to perhaps even turn the radio off? What would it be like to just sit with a cup of tea on your porch or on in your kitchen and just slow down? 

So that's on the personal level, but on an institutional level, there are those clinics, research labs, institutions, businesses that are encouraging people to slow down in order to be more creative, to have better health, to feel more at ease at work and even with employees because  long-term we are realizing that these are very important skills to maintain well-being, creativity and  productivity. 

What if all workplaces implemented even a small amount of each workday toward mindfulness? How would that reshape that workplace? Let us know if your workplace has done this and what changes you've seen!