Recently I've been checking out the web site of the Diocese of New Hampshire--that's the Diocese where the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson is bishop, and I recently started reading his biography. Well, today I discovered and downloaded a PDF of the most recent diocesan newsletter, and was really impressed by one of the article in it, called The Consequences of the Death of Empathy, by Robert Jenson. I wanted to share it, and hoped to find a non-PDF version. When I did a search, I found it at Counterpunch. I also found that it was published there way back in October. So maybe some of you have seen it already, but I'm guessing a lot of you, like myself, will be seeing it for the first time...
Too many people with privileges of various kinds -- based on race or gender, economic status or citizenship in a powerful country -- go to great lengths not to know, to stay unaware of the reality of how so many live without our privilege. But even when we do learn, it's clear that information alone doesn't always lead to the needed political action. For that, we desperately need empathy, the capacity to understand the experiences -- especially the suffering -- of others.
Too often in this country, privilege undermines that capacity for empathy, limiting the possibilities for solidarity. Two examples from my recent experience brought this home for me.
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