Separating Empathy from Action

Observing my reactions to news of terrorist attacks:
a flash of empathy
a need for action
gratitude for my own safety
gratitude for a lack of urgency
knowledge that constructive action is difficult
an empathic connection with other massacres throughout history
an openness to knowing other people’s pain.

As humans, and as researchers, we can value understanding other peoples’ experiences, even when that understanding is concomitant with our own relative powerlessness.


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