Empathy and Creativity
February 23, 2012
Eckhart Tolle and Sir Ken Robinson, two of my favorite thinkers, had a convo about creativity and empathy:
“Human beings uniquely have extraordinary powers of imagination, the ability to bring into mind things that aren’t present… we can enter other people’s consciousness, virtually, which is what we mean by empathy. And if we imaginatively engage with somebody else’s consciousness, if we’re empathetic, then we broaden our own lives.
It’s always interesting to me that in times of war and conflict, the first thing we try to suppress is our empathy for the people that we’re rising up against. It’s only when we suppress our empathy that we can do things that are literally unimaginable.
From that power comes all powers of practical creativity. There’s a literal sense… that as human beings we create our own lives. We create our own realities. We compose our lives. And we can recompose them, we can recreate them, we can choose to see things differently.
Often the most dreary circumstances can be transformed, not by the circumstances changing, but by our attitudes toward the circumstance changing; that in due cause may change the circumstances.” – Sir Ken Robinson
“The ultimate creative act is that – not neccessarily to create something, but not to be a reactive entity, to create your own life.” – Eckhart Tolle