I have a fever…

and the only prescription is MORE EMPATHY!

Actually, the whole world has a fever right now. I’m not talking about coronavirus. During a time when we should be connecting more and caring for each other, the pattern I’m seeing on social media is disconnection, shame, and anger. The good news is that there is a cure. Yeah, you know the prescription.

There’s a famous quote that is constantly misinterpreted, and I talk about this a lot.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Now, a lot of people think this is a call to action, but it doesn’t say ‘Make the change’ or ‘Go do the change’ or ‘Shame people on facebook until the change happens.’ The statement is telling us to change the way we think, see, and react. The best way I have to describe this process is to develop empathy. And for me, because I’m a storyteller, the best way to develop empathy is to listen to the stories of other people, especially those very different from you.

Empathy is the ability to share and understand the feelings of others. How will this save the world? Well, a few examples include:

  • Empathy promotes helping behaviors; gives a sense of connection and community–> People with empathy can work together.
  • Empathy fosters pleasurable and positive feelings; helps heal psychological problems such as anxiety–> Empathy makes people happier.
  • Promotes creativity and innovation –> Empathy helps people solve problems.

Streaming platforms like Kanopy, Netflix, and Prime are curating films about black and indigenous people of color. So if you find yourself feeling angry or confused right now, take a few hours to listen to someone’s story. It is a simple and fun way to make the world a better place.