On May 14th 2016, I was pleased to meet with the Board of the Asia Adams Save Our Children Foundation. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the Asia Adams Save Our Children Foundation is dedicated to the empowerment of children and youth, especially girls. It was created in memory of a young woman who was brutally raped and killed one night while out with “friends”. I encourage you to visit them at www.AsiaAdamsSaveOurChildren.org to learn more.
I was invited to introduce Transformative Parenting®, but moved by the story of the group’s namesake, a major focus of this particular talk concerned empathy. Why? Because what makes it possible for people to rape, torture, and kill? Not feeling the feelings of others: in other words, a lack of empathy.
Unfortunately, for a variety of social and genetic reasons, empathy is rarely well developed in human beings. Despite the lip service we give, empathy is not highly regarded in our culture, and its development is not encouraged by our usual approaches to parenting.
As readers of my book, Transformative Parenting™: The Empathic, Empowering Approach to Optimal Parenting and Personal Growth know, during the process of proving to myself the ideas of Transformative Parenting®, I developed a model of the mind I call Objectification. In this talk, I use parts of that model to show why empathy is so difficult for us. I then explain how Transformative Parenting® offers a uniquely powerful way to help our children develop the ability to empathize with others, while developing our own empathic skills. (Some other thoughts about empathy are in this post.)
This audio recording runs about 45 minutes. But the payoff is an understanding of empathy, a taste of the Objectification model, and a glimpse of the richness, depth, and power of Transformative Parenting® I hope you find useful.