A friend recently recommended a book called The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison. The opening essay has this quote about empathy that I absolutely love.
“Empathy isn’t just remembering to say That must really be hard, it’s figuring out how to bring difficulty into the light so it can be seen at all. Empathy isn’t just listening, it’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires inquiry as much as imagination. Empathy requires knowing you know nothing. Empathy means acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what you can see.”
This quote speaks to the power of teaching Restorative Practices in schools and communities. In order to learn empathy, we must learn to ask the important questions, to approach each other with curiosity and humbleness. We must strive to understand the full picture.