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One of the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA) superb RSA Animate series. In this snappy ten-minute video, brilliantly illustrated by Andrew Park from Cognitive Media, social thinker Jeremy Rifkin offers the key ideas from his book The Empathic Civilization.
This is a classic short-story from Ursula Le Guin, one of the greatest sci-fi writers ever. You can find it in her collection The Wind’s Twelve Quarters. It’s not long but it has a powerful empathic message at the heart of it.
This novel by Christopher Waking is right up there amongst my empathic favourites.
George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) was a great believer in the power of empathy to move her readers. Back when she was writing in the 19th century, empathy was generally known as ‘sympathy’.
The Giver is a children's novel which follows the life of Jonas, in his 12th year of life. He lives in what seems to be a utopia, until he goes into his apprenticeship and finds out what his society is missing, and how dystopian it actually is.
This classic tale of a small boy, Dave, and his lost toy is, like all Shirley Hughes books, packed on every page with emotional nuance and infused with Hughes' humorous and compassionate viewpoint.
I'm going to declare this book as the ideal early-years first introduction to empathy. Bobo is a baby chimp living in the jungle and he has lost his mum. Everywhere he goes, he sees other baby animals being cuddled by one of their parents and he cries the same refrain on every page, "hug!".
Ben is given a toy penguin. Despite all Ben's efforts to make friends with his gift, Penguin says nothing and appears characterless. But the shocking behaviour of a passing lion prompts Penguin to show his true colours, and his love for Ben.
'Wide Sargasso Sea' is rightly considered by many to be one of the greatest pieces of writing of this or any time, so I naturally approach reviewing it with some trepidation. But it has to be in The Empathy Library, so here goes ...
Film about the Oxford writer Iris Murdoch, based on the memoirs of her husband, John Bayley. Touching performances by Judi Dench and Jim Broadbent as the older couple; Kate Winslet and Hugh Bonneville the younger.