“As empathy ties the knots between us,
intelligent, unconditional love
unleashes a torrent of peace.”
“The mere example of nonconformity, the mere refusal to bend the knee to custom, is itself a service.”
John Stewart Mill
” If the parent is able to create the right balance between secure attachment and at the same time encouraging independent exploration, the child will develop a healthy sense of self and acquire the appropriate emotional maturity to engage others and develop meaningful relationships. If, however, the parent is not able to provide a sense of warmth and security and allow the infant to explore the world, the child will grow up with an arrested sense of self and be unable to enter into more than superficial relationships with others.
…Subsequent research into the parent/child dynamic…clearly shows that the more empathic the mother or father figure, the more able they are to identify emotionally and cognitively and to read their child’s needs. A parent with immature, inadequate, or deficient empathic sensitivity is not going to be as successful in producing a well-adjusted, trusting and caring child, who feels both secure and independent and able to enter into meaningful relationships with others.”
Empathy, as the Rifkin quote implies, is best learnt in infancy, modeled by parents and/or other caregivers, but it can be taught, even to adults. It is part of the curriculum for medical students at Melbourne Uni, I believe. The teaching of mindfulness, of which one consequence is increased empathy, would save the world a lot of trouble (and money) in years to come.
What is dominator Culture? Egyptian politics. Or Syrian. Or the Taliban, desperate to control the frightening spectre of an undependent Feminine, murdering schoolgirls. Even in ‘civilised’ Australia, politics demonstrates the unpleasant, unhelpful and lovely truths of Dominator Culture, where one-upmanship holds sway, and co-operation and compassion are of no account.