Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, asks why we aren't more compassionate more of the time. Sharing the results of psychological experiments (and the story of the Santa Cruz Strangler), he explains how we are all born with the capacity for empathy -- but we sometimes choose to ignore it.

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  • Maya Vidhyadharan

    Simple act of noticing! Beautiful ending! I believe people are more empathetic to others suffering if they have trained themselves to do the same for their unconscious fears and inner children that suffer silently. The outside reaction is a reflection of our inner reactions. Heart opens literally (remember its all energy) when we can have empathy for our deepest darkest shadows - like narcissism, dishonesty, manipulation, withdrawal of love, shame, hate and so on. Then we are more ready than ever to give to another as we feel the pain of their suffering too - our heart is that open to get the oneness of all.

  • Viewer 1

    What a waste of time. There was a lot of talk about nothing, going quickly from one subject to another. I think he enjoys hearing himself talk. Most of what he said could have been boiled down to a few sentences about human nature...there is good and the absence of good that motivates us all to do what we do. In most circumstances, "self" usually reigns supreme. Don't believe me, put yourself in an environment where people gather, eg. Walmart or a soccer game. Elementary!

  • simon

    Noticing is important, what often makes us notice is something in it for us an altruitic buzz, if this be our decided life path The ability to sleep well, because we now dont see humaity as full of selfishness at least there is one who can help alittle and there is the respect we earn when we tell a friend about our good deed and there is the respect we give ourselves if we choose not to tell anyone being aware, awake, living in the moment

  • cindy

    Dr.Goleman mentioned a fact I believe something we may forget or not realize..many of the homeless have mental diseases and are not just BUMS..they may have been abandoned by family who failed to recognize their condition

  • Lisa

    As much as I enjoyed this talk, I think Goleman got it wrong in the end. It took more than 'noticing.' It took someone (him, in this instance) stopping long enough & taking action to change the situation.

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  • Read more articles by Daniel Goleman, like this popular essay on 'Email With Care'.
  • Explore the discovery of mirror neurons, which are said to be the biological cause of empathy.
  • As Daniel Goleman says, we sometimes choose to ignore our capacity to empathize.  Next time you have the chance, don't miss it!

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