You Don’t Need to Understand To Be Able to Move On

“I just don’t understand how he could do that to his wife and kids…” “Her words and actions are so cold. I just don’t get it…” “How can someone have so little regard for others?”   I’ve been seeing questions like this with ever-increasing frequency, their authors pleading for answers. For some sort of suddenContinue reading “You Don’t Need to Understand To Be Able to Move On”

Who Do You Turn To For Help With Your “Character Building Experiences?”

I recently read a synopsis of a study that demonstrated that people receive a more empathic response from someone who has not been through a particular difficult experience than from someone who had survived something similar. At first glance, it seems counterintuitive. After all, who knows how rough it is better than someone who hasContinue reading “Who Do You Turn To For Help With Your “Character Building Experiences?””

The Limitations of Empathy

“Put yourself in his or her shoes,” I often find myself saying to my students in order to encourage them to respond kindly and with compassion. And in some cases, that works, especially when the recipient of my advice has had a similar experience to that of the student in question. If I’m asking aContinue reading “The Limitations of Empathy”

How to Apply Labels

As a teacher, I am quite familiar with the application of labels. Each summer, prior to ever meeting my new students, I study the rosters. Many of the names have associated labels next to them: ADHD, learning disability, autistic, ESOL, etc. These labels are helpful when these children are nothing more than a list ofContinue reading “How to Apply Labels”