Empathy is Essential

“Empathy is not a lightweight, touchy-feely, add-on extra to the moral life. It is an essential element in conflict resolution. People who have suffered pain often respond by inflicting pain on others. The result is violence, sometimes emotional, sometimes physical, at times directed against individuals, at others, against whole groups. The only genuine non-violent alternative is to enter into the pain of the other in such a way as to ensure that the other knows that he, she, or they have been understood, their humanity recognised, and their dignity affirmed.”

Judaism’s Life-Changing Ideas, p. 94