Daily Quote and Reflection: Empathic Culture Vs. Individualism

Just finished one of the most powerful books I have read in a long time by Jeremy Rifkin, entitled, The Empathic Civilization. His main point is that we are social animals and need to build on this inborn empathy to create a more positive and caring world. 

Quote: “Biologists and cognitive neuroscientists are discovering mirror-neurons—the so-called empathy neurons—that allow human beings and other species to feel and experience another’s situation as if it were one’s own. We are, it appears, the most social of animals and seek intimate participation and companionship with our fellows…If we can harness our empathic sensibility to establish a new global ethic that recognizes and acts to harmonize the many relationships that make up the life-sustaining forces of the planet, we will have moved beyond the detached, self-interested and utilitarian philosophical assumptions that accompanied national markets and nation-state governance and into a new era of biosphere consciousness.”

So how do we use our inborn ability to empathize and act on our innate desire to contribute to the common good for all? How can we take our genetic make-up —along with our values—and use it to move in a more positive direction of creating Common Ground and positivity, rather than negativity and out-dated philosophy of the “Individualism” or every man for themselves.

Reflection: Where do you come down on these two philosophies of life? What drives you to live one or the other


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