Tag Archives: empathy

We are all nurses – Christie Watson

12 May
Photo of Matt Holland and Christie Watson

Matt Holland and Christie Watson ©Fernando Bagué

I’m drawn to kindness, and I was pleased to see an event on this subject at this year’s festival. We live in a country of increasing homelessness and poverty (again) – to hear/read about kindness feels more important than ever. 

I’ve also been a psychiatric nurse myself during the 1980’s and 1990’s, in one of those old asylums, and sometimes kindness was not part of care: lack of time and lack of resources always pushed kindness to the outer edges in those cold enormous wards, and people were dehumanised by this. 

Christie Watson’s book is impressive. She raises the awareness of the quality of good nurses through stories that highlight her own twenty years of kindness and dedication: “Sympathy, compassion, empathy: this is what history tells us makes a good nurse.” (p.8).  Continue reading

Empathy Handbook – Roman Krznaric at the Swindon Festival of Literature

10 May
Roman Krznaric

Roman Krznaric

“A smart professional type was sobbing quietly in the corner of my train carriage. So many of us are carrying an intolerable burden. Be kind.”

So tweeted TV celeb Dan Snow, 6 May, and Swindon Festival of Literature retweeted, apropos of nothing, other than what a lovely sentiment and what an awful dearth of empathy there seemed to be around the election.

On Friday, philosopher Roman Krznaric shared how he lost his empathy at the age of ten, when his mum died. And he wanted it back.

This isn’t just a ‘what I did on my holidays and you might laugh/learn from it’ kind of tale. Roman has begun a rather civilised – (for what else could it be than one filled with hugs?) empathic revolution with the Empathy handbook, Empathy Library, Empathy Museum and Empathy Bus.

The Empathy Bus features a ‘human library’ where, instead of books, actual humans can be ‘read’; a chance to talk to people who have a completely different way of life to one’s own and, as novelist Harper Lee said: ‘step into their skin and walk around for a while’. Continue reading