le plus loin le plus serré

le plus loin le plus serré
mourning art

in memoriam

"yet I tell you, from the sad knowledge of my older experience, that to every one of you a day will most likely come when sunshine, hope, presents and pleasure will be worth nothing to you in comparison with the unattainable gift of your mother's kiss." (Christina Rossetti, "Speaking Likenesses," 1873)

Monday, January 31, 2011


It seems that it's becoming all the rage to talk about empathy; John Green, when he spoke in Pittsburgh Friday night, opened his talk with some words about empathy. This is a good thing; I'm hardly going to fight against a call for greater empathy.

I would, however, like to point out that I have been talking and thinking and writing about empathy for quite some time now - at least since fall of 2009, when I know I explicitly mentioned it, more than once, in my childhood's books class. Probably longer, really, because in some ways empathy is a core aspect of my dissertation, which has been in the works since 2008 for way too long.

As a person who is perenially ahead of the trends - usually so far ahead that I just look like an unfashionable nerd-dork - I would just like to state for the record that I got in on this empathy thing before it was cool to talk about empathy.

Just like I started listening seriously to Radiohead before the masses did (way before OK Computer).
And I started wearing chuck taylor allstar high tops in junior high school, which for me was (good lord) circa 1990. I had to hunt all over for my first pair of chucks, which were dark green, and which I still own and on rare occasion, still wear. They bear the marks of adolescence, including the rubber edging being inked up and picked at, and a rather mortifying peace sign drawn on the rubber toe of one show. Thankfully, that has faded over time.

Anyway, I offer these tidbits of avant-garde behaviors as further support to my claim as an early-adopter of empathy advocacy. I don't claim priority, just early-adopter status.

That's all. When I have more energy, I need to write about E. Lockhart: the pseudofeminism of her books, and the trouble with the newest Ruby Oliver book.

1 comment:

Edwin Rutsch said...

My I suggest a further resources to learn more about empathy and compassion.
The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
The Culture of Empathy website is the largest internet portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, definitions, experts, history, interviews,  videos, science and much more about empathy and compassion.

Let's Find 1 Million People Who Want to Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion

Also, we invite you to post a link to your article about empathy to our Empathy Center Facebook page.