Lack of Empathy and the Economic Meltdown

Posted by Tom Locke on January 11th, 2010 filed in Business, Education, History

In his latest book, “The Empathic Civilization”, best selling author Jeremy Rifkin explores the evolution of empathy and explains how empathy could shape our future and fate as a species.  In a recent interview on CTV, he stated that today’s world leaders are working with a 19th century model of human nature that is self-serving, calculating, materialistic and pleasure seeking.  Add mistrust and you have a very convincing argument for the recent economic meltdown.

However, he contends that if mankind were to embrace what biologists and scientists have discovered in the last ten years – i.e. that our true nature is wired at birth  and focuses around engagement, companionship, itimacy, empathy and affection – then we may have a chance in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.  In bringing forward this true nature, we must change our approach and embrace the “discovered” characteristics from infancy and throughout our adult lives.  In tandem with this, he believes that we must start thinking as a species, a single family responsible for the planet.

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