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Auel on Empathy

August 25, 2012


Excerpted from The Shelters of Stone, by Jean Auel:

But humans have been given the ability to think.  That is what makes us learn and grow.  It is also what gives us the knowledge that cooperation and understanding are necessary for our own survival, and that has led to empathy and compassion, but there’s another side to those kind of feelings.  The empathy and compassion we feel for our own kind is sometimes extended to the rest of the living things on the earth.  If we allowed it to keep us from killing a deer, or other animals, we would not live long.  The desire to live is the stronger feeling, so we learn to be compassionate selectively.  We find ways to close our minds.  We limit our sense of empathy.

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From → Books, Excerpts

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