- Posted March 26, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Is the U.S. Having a Crisis in Empathy?
- jmsaba, CNN iReport producer
Perhaps we are having a 'crisis in empathy.' Empathy has been on the steep decline for a decade. Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings experienced by another person. This past year’s news has given us a lot of examples of this: From the chants of the audience at a Sept 2011 GOP debate of “let him die, to Dahrun Ravi’s “casual cruelty” that ended in his gay roommate's suicide, to Rush Limbaugh feeling emboldened to call somebody a “whore” and “slut” on national radio. In a world where you can ‘friend’ or ‘defriend’ somebody with a click, is it a short trip to pulling the trigger of a gun (that is easier to obtain thanks to enabling laws) – just one more ‘click’?
Mind you, crime is going down, as are teen birth rates and abortion rates. The evidence for the fury around these issues is not that they’re a sign of bad times. The reality is – times are pretty good. It is people’s behavior that could be better. Amidst all the cries of personal responsibility, I’d like to advocate for more cries of interpersonal responsibility.