My friend Emily McDowell (who designed the banner for this website) recently launched a line of brilliant “empathy cards” that caused an inspiring tsunami of interest in the world. She was on Good Morning America, NPR and Slate. Her work sparked a chord with people who, like me, have gotten tired all the weirdness, forced cheer, quasi-spiritual positivity and general refusal to get in the trenches around illness and death. It’s generous of Emily to create cards because people have decided that human empathy is just to much to add to their plate. I am not so generous.
I am tempted to say that our culture sucks at empathy due to simple narcissism and self-absorption and plain laziness, but my friend told me that sounds “angry” so I’ll just say that we are “empathy challenged.”