Last weeks' post was a harsh one. It is so hard to believe that any American would condone torture of any kind. Tom Engelhardt in his post "What if Iranians Waterboarded an American" turns the issue on its head. What if it were an American being tortured he asks. What if it were someone we knew? Would we still approve of torture or would we call it barbarian?
How do we teach our children to have empathy for strangers-- especially those considered enemies?
To become empathetic people we need the following skills:
1. To be self-aware and able to differentiate our own feelings from another's.
2. To be able to put ourselves in someone else's shoes.
3. Control our own emotional responses.
This is harder than it sounds because we learn empathy from when we are very young.
Here are some links to activities that help children develop empathy.