Here are seven compelling videos that invite us into empathic relationship with the lives of others and/or exemplify different dimensions of empathy in action.
Just this week friends sent me the first two videos below – articulate, poignant statements of what it is to be Black in America. These videos – both from the fascinating website Upworthy.com – are masterful invitations to empathy and action.
They reminded me of some other video examples and invocations of empathy – invitations to see the world through the eyes of an Other, to sense our common spirit and suffering and to move towards – not away from – each other. Together these seven very different videos paint an in-depth picture of what empathy is and could be, even expanding our compassion to embrace future generations and the systems that will shape their world.
Most of these videos are less than 10 minutes long, except for the remarkable hour-long one-woman drama “Fires in the Mirror”, which is broken down into shorter segments so you can watch a few at a time (if you can keep from moving on to the next one!).
I hope they speak to you as they do to me and call up that deeper humanity that lies within and enriches us all.
If You Have To Tell Your Kids This Stuff, Then You Probably Aren’t A White Person – poet Javon Johnson on raising a black boy
If My Hands Were Anything Other Than Hands – poet Vanessa German takes us from street shootings to shooting stars and galaxies
Get Service – What if you could directly SEE everyone’s suffering?
Fires in the Mirror – An empathic real-life multiple viewpoint drama about a riot – created and acted by Anna Deavere Smith
Closing Circle Talk at the 2007 Story Field Conference – Tom Atlee talks passionately about the urgent need to evolve our compassion