Imagination and Empathy


This week at Chautauqua Institution we heard four wonderful lectures on empathy, all different and thought provoking. Did you know that animals experience empathy? Did you know that Virtual Reality can help us understand what other people experience? Have you thought about the way that setting boundaries in difficult relationships might help you empathize safely?

I love this quote by J.K. Rowling about the way our imaginations help us to empathize (or empathise in the UK) with others. Can you put yourself in another person’s life and imagine what they have experienced and how it’s made them the person they are? Novelists do this all the time, although we get to manipulate the facts and situations. In real life it’s harder, isn’t it? But so worthwhile.

It’s been a great week with lots to think about. I’m glad I can share a little with you.


  1. DELORES on August 8, 2021 at 9:18 am

    So many times we say, “if I were in their shoes,” or something similar—what would we do differently, how would we react…. Empathizing is so important, especially in difficult situations. Interesting that animals can but not surprising. My dogs intelligence amazes me over and over.

  2. Nancy C Lepri on August 8, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Em!!!! Have a blessed week ahead! 💙

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