Empathy and Hipocrisy
August 28, 2007
I found Nelson Minar's thoughtful look at Larry Craig's arrest to be very moving because of its deeply empathetic perspective. I find one of the things that frustrates me most about the public media sphere is the profound lack of empathy for people. Now, I don't like Craig -- I think he is a hypocrite. But Nelson took the time to think through the perspective of the person being demonized and understand and explain a very logical path to how a person arrives at the worst day of his life.
I find myself wishing more and more that we could teach people the ability to see the world through other perspectives. I think we can detest someone's hypocrisy and regret his awful decisions, and maybe even resent his beliefs, while still being sympathetic for his having been in a situation that left him with no good choices.
This is also what I was thinking about when ruminating on design and mise en place a few weeks ago. There is tremendous opportunity in being able to see through someone else's eyes.