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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