Our lives intersect with others all day, everyday. Sometimes we know these other lives well; frequently, though, the points of connection are brief and transient. Who are these people? How might they tell their own stories? What thoughts preoccupy their minds? What joys and troubles are coursing through their feelings?

This short film, produced by the Cleveland Clinic, reminds us that empathy is our tool for beginning to know these things. It asks the question: If we could catch a glimpse of others' stories, would we treat them differently?


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  • Sarah

    This was beautiful. As someone who has been on the patient side of healthcare due to an accident that nearly left me unable to walk forever (managed to for a decade), this is why I am going into the profession. So much gratitude for the team I have on my side and looking forward to being a part of someone's team in the future.

  • John Similien

    This was a really good video! its a reminder to why we Always be nice to others, because we don't know what they are going through. Put others first, and when when the opportunity arises, let them know how much they mean to us. Love them unconditionally.

  • tara

    be willing to put yourself into others situations

  • Holly Fleming

    to pay more attention to what people aren't saying. To ask people how they are and really mean it so they will feel free to say what's so.

  • Francine

    So many people are experiencing such pain in their lives! Everyone has something! We all need to be nice & respectful to each other. A simple hello & a smile can make a difference. I find it does.

  • Bill

    We seldom realize the impact we have on people in those momentary interactions. I try to keep in mind that they are people first and they have a diagnosis; not the other way around.

  • Sheila

    We can all make a difference in the lives around us.

  • Catherine

    Just live a life of kindness to all

  • Sue Allen

    That their are so many ways we can touch other's lives. A smile, a hug, a cup of coffee, a good morning and never know what that can do for another person. That may well be the good morning they remember for the rest of their life because they needed it that day.

  • Jon

    no matter how bad you day may be there is always someone that may be worse. Smile at everyone it could brighten there day even if its just for a second.

  • janita

    it reduces my pride .... it gives me positive path to think about others

  • Komal

    Amazing to say the least! It so inspires us to think from others view point and when we truly start doing that, it can bring a positive change. Kudos to whoever created it.

  • martin

    We are all sacred, we are all worth of compassion, beautiful video

  • Jim

    This video reminds me of the time when I was about 14, driving in a car with my sister and future brother-in-law. We saw a car in front of us swerving . Frank and I were laughing about the guy being drunk. My sister said, "Oh my, I hope he's not having a heart attack". What a great lesson on not jumping to conclusions. For whatever reason, we are so fast to pass judgment. It is a great thing to remember that everyone has a story, and we never know what they are going through at a particular moment.

  • marlene

    this teaches me never to judge others by outside appearances. And always say a kind word or make a kind gesture, (such as a wave), to those you meet with special emphases on our sisters and brothers whom we can see needs a kind deed or a kind and encouraging word.....

  • Cindra

    My first thought after seeing this was - If only people would allow others to see what they are experiencing, then I would be able to touch them in a way that was helpful. Yet, we aren't taught that in our society. I'm 'guilty' of it as well. So, what I can do, is smile. I can look at people with a sparkle in my eyes for them. I can let them glimpse into who I am. Most importantly, I can strive to always be kind.

  • Jilly Stone

    For me, it's about how if I just step outside myself, I can truly imagine what is possibly going on in someone elses life.

  • Adair

    Compassion of other people - we do not see these inspirational people - as compassionate outside of the (their) work environment. They are to be admired....

  • Ian Schnadig

    I always thought I was empathic with my cancer patients, but this video reminded how much more I can do.

  • jigna dedhia

    it help me think for others

  • Alf de Hombre

    It did really have the effect of arousing empathy in the people shown in the video. I think this wake-up effect will carry on through today. Thank you for such a simple and powerful production.

  • Maria Teresa

    I'm an Empath... have been All my Life. It's helpful to know what the other Needs, physical or emotional, for you're literally in his shoes, your emotions are his emotions, his hurts are yours, his joy is yours. But at the same time It's so Extremely taxing and hard to be One.

  • Gary

    A little grace can go a long way.

  • savita

    no words to say...my eyes are wet... its speechless..

  • Riva

    video was very moving, it shows that we have to show kindness and love to all the people around us, life is short a kind word and smile can mean at lot.

  • June

    I will use this in my junior English classroom to have a student-led discussion about point of view and perspective. Thank you for sharing this video. I can't wait for my kids to see it and comment on it!

  • Tracey

    A wonderful video, so simple yet powerful. I will share this with everyone as it is such an important thing to watch

  • Carol

    Life is a privilege we so often take for granted. Until we face the reality that one day something will happen to change our lives in positive or negative ways we don't reach out or think what can I do for others until we have to. Don't wait to care, always care and your life will be full!

  • Jeffrey Farrar Dean

    Didn't understand "Empathy" until I was 50, Oh the people, friends and family I've lost. If only I had understood then what I know now.

  • Amber

    EVERY persons life can be enhanced with a smile. Such a simple act of kindness, it can go a along way. I vow to smile at others more and more each day. :)

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  • emilie

    Working in the social sector, trying to help people every day, listening, guiding, but gets hard sometimes to continue to feel empathy, to feel love, to feel my heart. This video touched me, I feel human, connected again, thanks for sharing this ! I have new energy to start over a new day being there for others, and for myself, full of love !

  • Mohandas

    The feeling that there are others who are suffering more than you gives you a temporary relief, but ultimately we should try to forget ours and do something for others.

  • Brian

    Thanks Guys. Yup...tough one to watch...I watched my Aunt struggle to death with Leukemia...an argument for Euthanasia...we work in convalescent homes where there are many terminally ill or "hangin' in there" but with forms Dementia. Every day is a gift, so lets be thankful...be encouraged...thanks again for sharing...

  • Terry

    Have to see this,K, powerful!

  • Jp

    This is such a powerful reminder that our co-workers may be going through a difficult time because life comes at us from all directions. If each of us questioned ourselves, how we could help, we'd have more answers. Take time for compassion.

  • Brenda

    Remembering a quote I heard: Be kind to everyone for you never know the battles they are fighting.

  • Virginia

    Seeing father for the last time-how many words and emotions can you cram into a few minutes? How do you handle the anxiety? How do you prepare for tomorrow when there is no tomorrow for your loved one?

  • rupesh

    vdo was very touching, especialyy facial expressions on every patient.

  • Christine Pierce

    Very thought provoking.

  • Dr. Kanhaiyalal Sharma

    Empathy is the word and feeling I like the most. Empathy means putting yourself in the position of the sufferer. Sympathy keeps you touch of the person whereas empathy makes you that person. If we all have empathy for sufferers then the world would be better place. Thanks.

  • Kate

    we are all connected and need to live that awareness with compassion and kindness to the best of our ability

  • Mina

    To have compassion for every one. Each person is unique, and everyone has her/his story. The judgments/expectation/self-rightousness/being right ... should be replaced by Compassion, Empathy, Acceptance and Forgiveness. Thank you for this enlightening movie.

  • Debbie

    That generally people do not act bad out of malice or ill will by nature. They are hurting in their own lives and act out of frustration. This helps me see my co-workers who are attacking me right now in a different light.

  • Brenda

    I loved the reminder that you never really know what is going on in anothe person's life and that patience, compassion and empathy even with strangers is so powerful. Thank-you for this film.

  • Pamela

    I wish instead of a hospital setting they had used every day people on the street. It's kind of expected to see suffering and loss in a hospital. I'm terrified of hospitals. This just reinforced that feeling.

  • Barbara

    While this film is sweet, and I think useful in helping us hold others with more care, I hold empathy somewhat differently: Feeling what someone else feels is sympathy, attending to what another feels is empathy. When I feel what another feels I am attending to what is happening in me; my attention moves from the other person to myself. When I keep my focus on the other, I am able to better support that person, and allow her/him to be fully seen.

  • Bk Dr. Asha

    We need to be reminded about importance of empathy daily. In this modern era of technology, such simple and divine feelings of empathy have taken second or third place. Empathy actually restores spiritual greatness within each of us and makes our life indeed divine. Listen, Look and Feel !

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    absolute truth, there are NO Strangers. my life experience as a Storyteller & connector of culture has proven time & again how similar we all are. And how much we can learn if we take a moment and listen as well as allow ourselves to be vulnerable and share our stories too, imperfections & all. I am currently volunteering in Kenya collecting REAL Stories from Every Day People of challenges as opportunities to creatively problem solved. I discovered even in what seem to be the most dire situations, HOPE. When we take a moment and listen to someone's story, we all realize how interconnected we truly are. HUG from my heart to yours! PS if you wish to see the TEDx I presented in Warsaw, it is about this VERY subject! <3 http://youtu.be/Pap6TW3y-k0

  • Nick Heap

    It's simplicity and directness is inspiring. Everyone has a story and feelings. We all gain, learn, become more human and caring when we notice and listen. One day we will probably all need a stranger's empathy, so let's start investing now.

  • Sandi P.

    I have always known that every person has their own trials they are going through, and they are trying their best to cope. Usually their thoughts are not know to others, whether they know them or not. I have found this throughout my life. Sometimes it's not easy to realize this but it is true. Even to feel empathy for someone you do know, but whose goals do not match your own and there is conflict, it is difficult but in the end it can be a struggle to keep attune that we all need empathy to make things easier,

  • Don L. Higley

    To pause, listen, look, understand as best as you can and smile. Only I know what is behind my mask. The film was beautifully done.

  • empathy

    Empathy is a hospital is easy. It is feeling empathy and acting empathetically in the outside world where the focus isn't sickness, health, care that is hard. Having empathy for anyone is a hospital whether patient or a loved one visiting seems the most basic form of empathy. Having empathy for others without obvious difficult circumstances is the challenge.

  • beth

    “I made the choice to be vegan because I will not eat (or wear, or use) anything that could have an emotional response to its death or captivity. I can well imagine what that must feel like for our non-human friends - the fear, the terror, the pain - and I will not cause such suffering to a fellow living being.” ― Rai Aren

  • Melissa

    I saw someone yesterday whose face mad me want to ask his story, but I was "too busy." A moment missed.

  • yoginder

    Human relationships would become more tender and true with empathy.

  • Gerry

    The need to be reminded to stop doing and start being fully present to the people around us every day

  • Ryane

    Our lives do intersect with others all day, everyday! Our world is in constant connection with each other. But while still connecting we all have a story to tell. A reason for who we are today at this present moment. Touching our lives in that very moment changing it for ever. Be kind to everyone you meet. We are all just living our life on this same beautiful earth <3 very inspiring video!!

  • Yalile Johnson

    It inspired me to give back a little more and appreciate the life God has blessed me with. I know I take things for granted, I hate that. But empathy helps ground me. It always has. No matter the problem I go through it could be worse, and sometimes I need to remember that. I treat people the way I want to be treated but I also neglect some of the most important people in my life. It was a beautiful video.

  • Page 1

  • A special doctor once described the role of empathy in his practice this way: "It is ourselves we are helping, it is ourselves we are healing." Learn about the extraordinary compassion of Dr. V.
  • Consider the notion that we are hard-wired for empathy.
  • Make a conscious effort to "pick-up the signals" from each person with whom you have meaningful interaction today, to try to get a better understanding of who they are and how they are feeling.

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