One of the most effective ways to build empathy for people outside your immediate circles is to learn about and interact with people who are different from you in race, class, culture, and who hold different religious or political beliefs. At Making Caring Common, we call this expanding your "circle of concern."
It's natural to have empathy for members of our family, our friends, and our social groups. But what about people outside of those groups? It can be a challenge to empathize with those who are very different from us, and can be especially difficult to empathize with those who hold different political or religious beliefs or an opposing moral outlook.