Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Book 5 of 2019 -- The Power of Kindness

I have listened to Brian Goldman's radio show White Coat, Black Art for many years and so when a colleague of mine posted that she was reading his latest book I had to take a look.

While the book title is about kindness the book itself is about empathy. Goldman talks about his quest to learn about empathy as he seeks to learn how empathetic he is.

In his search we learn about some biological markers of empathy that show up in an MRI. We explore some psychology around empathy, and the lack thereof. We meet people who have the ability to connect with others, often because of a shared woundedness but sometimes just because they are good at connecting. We see how roboticists are trying to program empathy. We explore a program that is trying to teach empathy, or maybe plant the seeds of empathy, in school children by bringing infants into the classroom.

Possibly my favourite story in the book was the chapter that discussed working with dementia patients. That one was a real eyeopener about the possibilities.

Like Goldman, I often wonder how empathic I am. This book did not answer that question for me. But it did give me some more insight into the question. It is one I would readily suggest to others.

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