Some people are empathy deficient while others have so much of it that it can become overwhelming under certain conditions. But empathy is a skill and like all skills it can be trained. Through practice, we can hone our empathy so that it aligns with our society’s natural tendency towards evolution and success through mutual support.
The fact that empathy is a career-enhancing skill should give parents enough reason to instill it in their children. The fact that empathy can also stimulate a social group’s technological progress through increased collaboration and innovation should give governments enough reason to implement it throughout the educational system.
Even though we evolved emotionally quite a bit in the past centuries our society continues to often exhibit a severe lack of empathy, especially when it comes to the male demographic. Perhaps it’s time for governments to realize that empathic men are more useful than those whose emotions were twisted in order to condition them to become obedient soldiers, ready to slaughter each other to fill somebody’s coffers. Perhaps that made sense last century, but we’re past the point where we can survive a third world war, so any investment in that sort of competition is a recipe for social bankruptcy.
The fact that the educational system is flawed is not news. However, one would think that at least we’re working on improving the situation. Well, not quite. Apparently, in some countries they keep cutting into creative classes and replacing them with reading class.
There has been a lot of talk in the past decades about income inequality and for good reason. Various factors contribute to income inequality, such as the political orientation of a country or its economic status. But at the root of unfair reward systems lies a way of thinking that associates people with the immediate economic benefit that they bring to a group. In other words: no long-term strategy.
Such reasoning made more sense in a past when a famine could threaten the survival of an entire culture. Even though we live in quite different times (many countries are approaching post-scarcity economy), our instinct hasn’t quite caught up yet. This is not entirely surprising given how fast we’ve evolved in the past centuries. Our “firmware” hasn’t had enough time to adapt. So, we’re still prone to terribly pragmatic and survivalist decision-making. Social contribution inequality is the result of this style of thinking. It is the poor rewarding of some members of society because others do not immediately see them as being profitable.