Mary Gordon on the teachability of kindness
03 October 2012: Roots of Empathy Founder/President Mary Gordon was featured in a discussion on the teachability of kindness in the web magazine Zócalo Public Square on October 2. Looking at the benefits of kindness and altruism, the magazine posed the question whether kindness could be taught and, if so, how?
Chosen for her expertise as a child advocate, educator, and Founder/President of Roots of Empathy, Gordon writes, “Kindness is caught, not taught. Children who experience kindness directly in the earliest years are predisposed to be kind, because the experience of being treated kindly is biologically embedded in the child’s brain.”
Joining Gordon were four other guests specializing in the field of empathy, including authors, educators, and academics. Each weighed in on the question, with their answers ranging from “Kindness can absolutely be taught” to “Kindness can’t always be taught—and shouldn’t always be taught.”
Gordon eloquently concludes by writing, “But before kindness even enters the picture there must be empathy, because, without empathy, the ability to understand how another feels, kindness is not likely. So, the real question is: Can empathy be taught?”
Read the full article at Zócalo Public Square.