It is argued that empathy cannot be taught but could happen through our positive non-judgemental interaction with others. We need to listen and to imagine what it is like to be the other. It is always easier to interact with others if they belong to our group, and hence it is easy to empathise with them as they experience sufferings and hardships through life.
The importance of empathy in delivering health care has been known for a long time. A wide range of evidence points to the fact that doctors and nurses who are empathetic tend to provide better care. Studies also suggest that being treated with dignity and respect matters more for patient satisfaction even than pain control.
Gavin Extence's writing is both witty and sincere, a clique page-turner it isn't. But certainly a more refined novel for the modern man to read at leisure. Many memorable moments you'll feel compelled to share. For instance, when Gabriel Vaughn feels outmaneuvered by a young clergyman it's made the funnier that in fact, he was outbullshited.
Scrolling though the news channels this morning was like the opening sequence to a film in which the director is trying to convey just how chaotic the world has become in the dystopian future. Except it's real life. It's right now, and though I can choose to turn off the TV, I cannot forget what I've learned and I cannot ignore it - and nor should you.
The notion of 'presence,' of forgetting your actual surroundings and fully buying into this first-person narrative, is at the centre of what makes VR such a powerful tool when it comes to raising awareness of serious issues. Far from being an isolationist medium, there are many who believe VR will help us connect with stories and with other people in a more profound way than has previously been possible.
People who are actively engaged in social media - and young people in particular - are constantly aware of their audience and their role as entertainers. Images leave much unsaid and open to interpretation, so their meaning and intention can be defended in line with audience feedback and the threat of social shame.
A few weeks ago, a member of my family was taken into hospital for an operation. Although thankfully not life threatening surgery, I desperately wanted to jump in the car there and then, and drive straight to the hospital. Frustratingly in my physical condition this was unrealistic. I couldn't go anywhere, and a few words of comfort over the phone was all I could offer.
There has been a lot of fanfare this week around the reaching of the 25% target for women on boards. Lord Davies set this voluntary target for FTSE 100 companies back in 2011. It's clearly a good thing that boardrooms are getting more diverse and having a target has meant the whole issue has been in the news for the last few years.
The truth is that there are still many questions and confusion on the definition of emotion, both from the science and business communities. There is a lot more research that needs to be done to understand their full role and function, however, there is already a lot of compelling research that allows us to form a general picture on what an emotion is.
Losing someone you love is difficult enough, living without someone you love is heartbreaking enough, living day by day is exhausting enough without the added frustrations and torments contributed by those who exclude and patronise those living with grief. The patronising comments and exclusion are usually unintended, I know. That knowledge does not make the sting any less, though.