Monday, November 16, 2015

Beirut, Paris, Kenya, Chicago: Empathy and Compassion for All

Far from 'grief bashing," this balanced article advances a legitimate argument regarding normative 

underlying assumptions and the corresponding consequences for universal empathy and compassion. 

Put more simply, to what degree does who you are (or where you live) mediate your basic right to shared 

humanity, empathy and compassion? Far more nuanced than a reductionist argument that suggests that 

caring deeply about Paris precludes equally deep sentiments about Beirut, or Syria-- or the deaths in 

Chicago for this matter; or that heightening awareness around this empathy deficit model is akin to lack   

of empathy for Paris, I challenge us all to consider the following: how can we personally interrupt the 

dominant narrative that continues to value some lives over others?

 I say this as someone who knows and loves Paris and France deeply and who has a number of dear 

French friends.I also have visited and love Beirut, and have many friends who live in Beirut or have 

family who live there. I also was born in Chicago, where violence is disproportionately claiming the lives 

of my brown brothers and sisters on a daily basis. I worry every weekend when my mother calls to tell 

me that she is going visit friends and family in certain parts of the City plagued by violence.

Read NYT Article Here

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