reaching out to the “other” and then opening up to truly understand each other.
Use the empathy symbol to indicate your support for a world in which we all can get along.
Empathy: The first step to peace in our families, schools, communities, nations, world
Heinz Kohut defined empathy as "the capacity to think and feel oneself into the inner life of another person.” We think that's what the world needs today. As the cultural wars rage — Judeo/Christians vs. Muslims, immigrants vs. native-borns, Red States vs. Blue States — what we all need is to walk in each others' shoes, to empathize with the other’s position, situation, upbringing, life experiences and feelings. Empathy leads to respect and caring for each other, and that is the sure path to peace.
We’ve heard about people getting the empathy symbol as a tattoo in Texas, Germany, and Australia. We appreciate this permanent commitment to spreading the message about the importance of empathy! Check out the ways people have put the empathy symbol permanently in their lives and out front to the world. If you don’t want to go as far as a tattoo, though, consider using the empathy symbol as your signature under your name on your e-mail. You can get a print-ready version from our Materials page. Have you got other ideas? Please share them with us and we’ll put you in our Empathy Symbol Gallery.
Who said these simple but profound words? Not a politician, not a religious leader, not a syndicated newspaper columnist. No, it was a punter/pundit on Conan O'Brien's show recently.
Chris Kluwe was a punter for the Minnesota Vikings when he wrote a letter to Deadspin in August2012 criticizing a Maryland State delegate who demanded that the Baltimore Ravens silence a player who had spoken up in favor of same-sex marriage. The letter was well-reasoned, thoughtful, articulate and used very colorful language to make the point that the fundamental American values of free speech and equality for all were being threatened by this legislator's attitude. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-kluwe/an-open-letter-to-emmett-burns_b_1866216.html
The letter got a ton of attention, and catapulted Chris into the limelight. It took him everywhere: from helping with the fight to defeat the anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota, to appearing on many talk shows, to being the Grand Marshall of the Pride Parade in Minneapolis in July, to writing and promoting a book of essays, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.
And always, for Chris, it comes down to empathy. Here's what he says in an essay in the book entitled "For the Children", wherein he refutes the argument that opponents of same-sex marriage use that they're doing it "for the children": "It's about giving our children the tools to succeed in life-tools like empathy and kindness. …It's about understanding that there are countless children and they're not all going to be the same and that we should celebrate that diversity as they mature into adults." (p 54, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies.")
We saw Chris Kluwe speak to a packed house on his book tour recently, and were impressed with his wit, his smart and rational approach to life, his down-to-earth attitude, and his good humor. Chris Kluwe gets it, that it all starts with empathy.
Check out Chris Kluwe on TV talk shows: Conan O'Brien bit.ly/151z0AP
The Ellen DeGeneres Show bit.ly/14Urzf2
See our previously featured Empathy Promoters.
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