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.
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."
We know it's not always easy to do this work--it can be uncomfortable, and many of us don't have access to a diverse range of people to engage in a meaningful exchange. To help break the ice, we're introducing a new "Circles of Concern" series on our blog to introduce you to people and perspectives you may not come in contact with in the course of your day-to-day life. With each blog post, we'll include a set of questions to ask yourself or your children as you read. We ask that you keep an open mind, share your comments on our blog, and share posts that resonate with you on social media and with your family and friends.
Are you an educator who wants to learn more about Circles of Concern? You can check out our educator resource here and read this piece by Rick Weissbourd and Stephanie Jones in Educational Leadership (ACSD membership required).