Empathy is a gift that eludes those who know only themselves. – Peter Amendt

Even though the term ’empathy’ was first used as early as 1848, by the German philosopher Rudolf Lotze, I personally started quite late to actually include it in my vocabulary. Maybe because I always thought of myself as very ’empathic’, however, I perceived this trait as rather negative in my youth; at that time, ’empathic’ was for me so strongly associated with ‘only giving’, ‘always considering, ‘little assertiveness’ and I did not want to be characterized exclusively with this trait.

With the process of digitalization, the outbreak of the pandemic and global warming, the term ’empathy’ has also changed – suddenly ‘being emphatic’ is one of the most important problem-solving skills – in 2020, empathy was one of the marketing goals for companies. 👉Empathy is considered a key component of emotional intelligence,, a crucial skill to have as a leader. After a year like 2020, empathy is also a fundamental emotion that marketers need to show in 2021 to do their jobs effectively, says the Marketing Insider Group.

Is humanity awakening to new awareness?

F i n a l l y – before it’s really too late. Covid-19 shows so much that we can only move forward together and with a lot of empathy – everything is connected, we are one.
I am happy about every person who perceives this realization not only with his head, but rather in his heart and thus helps humanity to find sustainable solutions together for the challenges on our planet ‘Mother Earth’ – Viktor Frankl sums it up as follows:
“The feeling can be much more sensitive than the mind can be perceptive.” (Viktor Frankl)

P.S. Do you want to know how emphatic you are? ;-) 👉 http://www.empathie-lernen.de/empathie-test

JU’s 3 questions for November are:

👉In what context did you first encounter the term? What situations do you associate with the term?
👉Are there any role models for you who inspire you with their gift of ‘being emphatic’?
👉Empathy is an important key to solving the greatest challenges of our time – to what extent have you already experienced this yourself?

👩🏻🇦🇹🇺🇸🇪🇸 Maria Kornfeld
Maria and I first met at HTL 3 Rennweg in the fall of 2018 – Maria studied teaching English and Spanish, is currently on educational leave, and is pursuing additional education in sports management.
I am very grateful to have such a sympathetic, humorous, emphatic colleague – I admire Maria for her beauty, for her compassionate and cooperative nature, and for her reliability.
Spain is like a second home for Maria and she loves dogs more than anything, meeting people from other cultures, sports and quality time with family&friends.

👩🏻‍🦳🇬🇧Anette Wathen
was born and raised in the county of Yorkshire, but more recently she has relocated with her husband Paul, to County Down in Northern Ireland.
Annette has finished her working role 13 years ago after 27 extremely fulfilling years in Education, Leadership and Management (as a Primary Head Teacher to becoming an OFSTED Inspector). We both met in 2011 during a Lesvos vacation and reconnected on Facebook a while ago. I am very thankful for this reconnection, as I enjoy seeing Annette’s beautiful and very creative posts and heart filled comments – I feel a natural connection with Annette and admire her for her preciseness, creativity, professionalism and love for humanity. Annette loves music, travelling around the globe with her husband and spending time with family&friends.

🧑🏻 🇺🇸🇩🇪🇦🇹🇧🇪Craig R.
Still dreaming of my first USA-trip in summer 1995 it has been a big surprise for me to meet a cool, young American language assistant at business academy Donaustadt in October ’95. Craig and I immediately connected and kept our connection through the years by visiting each other in Vienna, Cologne, Niagara and reconnecting on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Craig originally comes from Buffalo/New York and has lived in Vienna, Berlin, Cologne and moved to Belgium in 2011 where he now lives and works as subject matter expert for supply chain visibility. He loves Golf, Cooking, playing his guitar and is fan of Armin Wolf and Peter Filzmaier.
I apprechiate Craig for his ingenuity, big knowledge and interest for political topics, his very good taste in music and his loyalty.

👩🏻Maria Kornfeld🇦🇹🇺🇸🇪🇸

Answer 1

I got to know the term (similar to you, dear Judith) quite early, however, I understood what it meant only much later.

My father often told me in my childhood and adolescence that I was empathic (maybe he had a special eye for it, because he also has this quality). I remember a situation (I was about 8 years old) when he was helping a girl study and I was sitting next to her, drawing. I must have realized at the time that the girl was uncomfortable with me being in the same room or her needing my father’s assistance, so I withdrew without a word. It wasn’t until a few years later, when my father talked about this situation, that I understood how to categorize this feeling that this girl triggered in me.

Answer 2

I consider it a great privilege to have met empathetic people again and again in different phases of my life.

In my private life, my parents, my grandmother and my closest friends are role models when it comes to empathy.

But also, during my education at school, during various internships and now in my professional life, I have been able to work with people who have inspired me again and again with their gift.

But even in everyday life, “strangers” often contribute to touch me through their empathy, even if it’s just a small gesture, like giving someone a smile on the subway when you notice someone isn’t feeling well.

Answer 3

Whether it’s due to the fast pace of life or unpredictable events, we are all faced with new challenges every day that may seem insurmountable at first. I have often had the experience that when someone can put themselves in my shoes and support me, even if the person would perhaps react differently, it takes a great weight off my shoulders and gives me a lot of strength. For me, showing empathy means helping each other, it means that although we have to make decisions and go our way alone, there is always someone supportive with a lot of understanding behind us.

👩🏻‍🦳Anette Wathen🇬🇧

Answer 1

Having failed tests consistently and from an early age I have been inspired by those I’ve met who have succeeded in firing my own self-belief and have nurtured my ability to strive through what seemed like all adversity.
Creating enjoyment, enthusiasm and relevance as a conduit for facilitating effective learning, nurturing potential, promoting self-worth and self-belief have therefore become that golden thread running throughout my life.

I believe that abstract conceptualization is at the heart of empathetic growth and development.
*Learning by doing it
*Experiencing it firsthand and responding to it in the context of a practical and emotional response
*Assimilating it in the context of its relevance, purpose and impact on self and others
*Trialing it out to develop it even further

These key ingredients facilitate our thinking. They enable us to understand about our own learning and open our minds to understanding how others personalize their learning and its impact for them. It nurtures the vast possibility of perspectives in all of us and provides us with the opportunity to reflect. It’s not merely the content of the learning, that becomes knowledge in itself, but it is, as importantly, about the process of learning, it’s relevance and impact. Of that learning, we are enabled to understand and articulate our own experiences and then to develop the ability to consider and recognize the impact it has on others.
The nursery of empathy …to listen, to acknowledge an alternative perspective without judgement, to accept unconditionally and to give value to it. To be prepared to challenge our own perspective though the development of our own reflectiveness and thinking processes. To be confident about challenging and changing our own perspectives.
To nurture confidence in ourselves and in others around us.
Empathy is instantly recognizable to the empathetic.

Answer 2 & 3

Role models play key roles in our lives and often, unknowingly, provide the support, momentum and purpose to our individual journeys through time.
Role models for me have been critical in the development and maintenance of my own self-belief, particularly when all around and internally may have felt lost or at sea.
The lights of human kindness are all around us. They shine out like stars in a dark sky. They mark our way and enable us to move forward, to strive to be the very best we can be and, to most importantly, be at one with ourselves.
Role models that stand out: –
*My father – unconditional love, time to talk thinks through and reflect on outcomes, always made me feel loved and special
*A particular teacher although there were several
*Lou Tice – Pacific Institute (life changing)
*Louise Bourgeois – Sculptress. Took my 80-year-old Mum to see her work at the Tate Modern for a birthday treat. Louise Bougeois was over 80 years of age when she produced the ‘Spider’
*Mary Robinson – Former President of Ireland
*Mary Peters – Sportswoman

🧑🏻Craig R.🇺🇸🇩🇪🇦🇹🇧🇪

Answer 1

My best friend described how someone had accused him of “a complete lack of empathy.” The stark contrast of this with the broad sense of empathy and emotional intelligence at the core of my friend’s personality was so ridiculous that we both still laugh heartily when recalling this; sometimes I ask him — tongue in cheek — whether he has a complete lack of empathy. Other than that, I never encounter the term “empathy” in spoken everyday life (i.e., nobody calls it that), although I am fortunate enough to regularly encounter empathetic people whom I could describe as “empathetic.”

Answer 2

I always keep my Dad in mind. He’s been gone for 10 years this month but is somehow with me every day, looking over my shoulder. He could be very stubborn and impatient at times :-), but was always a really empathetic person to core, in all regards.

Answer 3

In professional and private life, the default increasingly seems to be a void where empathy should be; too many people are insincere and superficial. Over time, this has made me more and more introverted. I prefer spontaneous conversation with strangers passing fleetingly though our lives — waiting for the metro, browsing in the grocery store — to artificial attempts at small talk with acquaintances I “know” (superficially) through social or professional circles. I’m not more cynical than I was 20 years ago — I’m merely more guarded and have developed a well-tuned pair of antennae…