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Empathy Deficit – Quotes to Inspire Writers

You know, there’s a lot of talk in this country about the federal deficit. But I think we should talk more about our empathy deficit — the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes; to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us — the child who’s hungry, the steelworker who’s been laid-off, the family who lost the entire life they built together when the storm came to town. When you think like this — when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers — it becomes harder not to act; harder not to help.

~ Barack Obama

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • admin

    Isn’t that the truth Devon, sigh…

  • Too bad CEOs and bankers aren’t willing to take this quote to heart. We might have avoided a good part of this mess in the first place.

    Devon Ellington’s last blog post..Sunday, February 22, 2009

  • Lou

    Oh, yes. Absolutely yes. Yes, indeed.

    I once lived in SE Asia for a while, and I’ve never looked at either poverty or wealth in the same way again.

  • admin

    Hi Dan, like many I’m sure, I don’t pretend to understand the current economic crisis. I do know that I was offered, even pressured a bit, a mortgage a couple of years ago I had no business being offered… I didn’t do it and I’m glad. But I had the advantage of some real estate knowledge and some real clarity on my own finances… many people don’t have those advantages.

    What really ticks me off is the banks… their boards of directors and their senior officers who acted as if the laws of physics or whatever law governs money had been repealed. Every bubble bursts… breaking a single mortgage into multiple pieces to sell to investors (gamblers imo) is nuts. Insisting people be in default before they can re-negotiate a loan is nuts… I’m old enough to remember when bankers lived in the community they served… small banks, lots of them – not the conglomerates we’ve got now.

    We need human scale in lots of things imo.

    Give us some links Dan so we can read your stuff.

  • Hi, Anne:

    Thanks for posting this quote. We can all learn from it. I cover the residential housing industry for a variety of Web sites and magazines. Too often, I hear little to no sympathy for those folks who are facing foreclosure. Yes, some people are facing foreclosure because they were too greedy. But many others are facing it because of job loss or health issues. No one wants to lose their house. I think we all forget the importance of empathy.

    Dan

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