Learning Empathy

Are we losing the capacity to reach out to people? Is the age of electronics keeping us from listening and conversing face-to-face with others? Have we lost the capacity for human connection and involvement in community?
We live in a multi-cultural society and need to take heed of the universal needs of all humans. To do this we must possess the capacity for empathy no matter which field of endeavor we are in. Yet our world seems to experience diminishing empathy. 
The desire to want our children to do better than their parents, if taken too far, may well change the values needed to be a decent human being. It is important to want children to succeed. But where it can take an ugly turn is teaching extreme competitiveness. Pushing childhood sports over-the-top often comes with the price of depleting them of compassion. Competition for college admissions raises the stakes.
Intense pressure to inject ambition into children may make for an overly competitive young adult, unwilling to help anyone out of fear that person will supersede them in the climb up the ladder. This not uncommon among, for instance, medical students who fear someone may get ahead of them grade-wise. Teaching empathy seems to have become an unimportant aspect of how we raise children. The downside of that is that children lose a sense of compassion. The false myth that those children will be taken advantage of if they are too kind has created unsympathetic adults. They do worse in life than children who have empathy.
There is another aspect to why we are on the downslope of developing empathetic humans. Youngsters are deluged with electronic devices that preclude human interaction. When hi-tech games are the constant companion of children rather than games that rely on communication and collaboration, there is a ripple effect that bodes poorly for the future. Lack of reading stories because of reliance on electronic gizmos also creates human estrangement. That in turn impacts health and well-being.

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