We've gotten ideas and reactions to the Empathy Symbol from around the world. Please contact us
to share yours.
Empathy: The first step to peace in our schools, communities, nations, world
Here are some of the comments we've received on the Empathy Symbol
From Ryan A:
It is a privilege to be speaking with someone who had the bravery, talent, and heart to introduce such a meaningful symbol to the world. Empathy is a way of living and it certainly has had a huge impact on my life. It's so nice to see other people who share similar beliefs.
I was raised to cherish empathy, show compassion for others, and always be open-minded. It wasn't until I was older that I was able to see an even deeper root of empathy: compassion for all living things. I believe the discussion of empathy couldn't be complete without including animals. Animals are intelligent, have a wide range of emotions, and feel pain just like we do. It's important that we empathize with animals because otherwise their suffering will continue without a voice to fight for themselves.
A great example of empathy and animals can be found in one of the earliest events in both women's liberation and animal activism during the late 19th century. During this time, women were fighting for their civil rights. It was also the beginning of the "Animalier" art movement, which specialized in animal paintings, some of which depicted cruelty or torture toward the animals (including vivisection, the dissection of live animals). The women saw this art and empathized with the poor creatures it depicted. They were able to compare their oppression in a patriarchal society with the oppression of animals. It was one of the first times a political platform was built around empathy toward abused animals and was an important milestone in women's rights, animal rights, and the evolution of empathy.
I appreciate you taking the time to listen to me. I just felt it was important for the creator of the empathy symbol to understand a little bit about how animals fit in to the discussion of empathy. It's very important for us to empathize with animals, to understand their pain, so that we may create a more peaceful world for all living creatures.
And again, thank you for creating the empathy symbol. It's a powerful tool that can be used to build a brighter future. I will continue to use it, spread it, and live it!
- From teacher Kerry D: I am excited to share this with my class and they will be sharing it with the school for the month of October. I think your design is perfect especially now that I know exactly the representation. I love that I can share with the students that they can use any colour which will add their touch to it and they will be writing their interpretation of what empathy is on it. Thank you for your design and inspiration.
- Hi my name is Sara and I am a 15 year old girl. I think this symbol stands for everything I believe in. There should be a mutual respect for all people that has nothing to do with someone’s race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. Thank you for coming up with a symbol that doesn't just mean peace. It also means understanding and acceptance of people who are different from us. We will probably never have world peace but we can still try to create a group of understanding people and youth who are willing to try to change the world.
- I visited your webpage, and like very much your empathy symbol. The text of
my book, Empathy in Patient Care" ends with the following closing sentences:
"Because a person cannot hate "the other" once empathy bonds them together,
empathy can be viewed as a remedy for the psyche and soul of human kind. And
may be it can serve as a means of achieving a global peace here, there,
everywhere on earth because as the Persian poet Saadi stated...'all human
beings are in truth akin.'" (p. 214).
--Mohammadreza Hojat, Ph.D., Research Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia
- We love your empathy symbol and the idea of having such a thing to spread the important concept. I recently heard a presentation by a Duke faculty member who was speaking to parents at my daughter’s school about parenting teens, and she said that one indicator of your success at parenting is having a child who exhibits empathy for others. –Luci in North Carolina
- A while back, I bought some of your bumper stickers--gave them to other people by the way---need to spread this concept more and more---outstanding idea--we NEED more empathy, kindness and compassion--less wars would happen, less crime, less mental illness, if more empathy is shown to all...each other. Peace to you---Chris
- I wear my empathy symbol button on my jacket. Generally, someone will ask me what my button means, so I explain it. At that point if they are engaged and interested I ask them, "Would you like one?" If they say yes then I give them one, usually out of my pocket, but if I don't have an extra one along that day then I reach up and take off mine and give it to them. When that happens they almost always declare that they can't take my button and, when I insist, they seem even more excited that I would give them my personal button. Finally I turn the button over and ask them to go to the website to learn more.
Their reaction is often expressed in body language and facial delight. Many of these people seem to react emotionally rather than verbally. It is like they have discovered that there really are good people in the world that are spreading messages of love and compassion. The look on their face says to me that they are so happy to have been included in this very special club of people that really care. And for me nothing could replace the feeling that I receive each time. It is as though I just handed them a gift of extreme value. Seriously. -- Dean in Minneapolis
- I am creating an assembly on the virtue of empathy for the end of the month. In it we will be using the symbol and the words "use it. spread it, Live it." The symbol just struck me so powerfully as a beautiful representation of the virtue but more than that a way to symbolize action through empathy that each and everyone of us could be taking everyday, every minute of our lives. Know that your work will be spread through me into the corners and hearts of our students here in our little town and beyond. I too am on the journey with you. We can make a difference.” --Dale Cimolai, 8th grade teacher in Bolton, Ontario
- “I just discovered your amazing website and symbol and I am so excited. I teach Grade 7 at an inner city school in Toronto, Ontario. Oour school has focus this year on how to build a better community. The Grade 7’s are doing Empathy. I can’t wait to Use It! And Spread It! To my school so that we can all Live It!” –Lynn in Toronto