Empathy of a Child
Humans have a drive to belong. In is intimately wrapped with empathy. From the time a 2 year old can look in the mirror and recognize themselves, they can then identify with others. As a child becomes aware of suffering and mortality, their sense of empathy can be exercised through their mirror neurons.
Empathy has Expanded
They can develop solidarity with others. Being empathetic does not create utopia. Empathy can result in action to relieve the suffering of others. That is compassion and love. In the last 10,000 years peoples empathy and solidarity has expanded. In early times it extended to family groups and villages. It was tribal. As agriculture developed and trade between people developed, it expanded. As religious groups expanded, people identified with a wider group. As transportation and trade expanded, larger areas developed into nations and people have become more and more identified with national identity.
Be a Role Model of Empathy
Can empathy extend to the whole human race and overcome narcissism, materialism, violence, and aggression? Empathy can be repressed by our parenting, education, business practices, and government. It starts with us as parents and in our choices of how we live our lives. Our children will identify with their role models, us.
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