The Empathy Foundation Network

Growing empathy for a peaceful world

Alice Aird presented an interactive workshop with this intriguing title on Saturday October 4th 2008 at Early Childhood Australia’s Biennial Conference, Australia’s biggest early childhood conference.

Learn more about Early Childhood Australia

Talk Outline
Humans with strongly developed empathy are almost incapable of unprovoked violence against others, or of abusing nature. I will argue that the empathic centres of our children’s brains are the most important structures on Earth. The treatment of children directly impacts their growing emotional brain structures and thus profoundly shapes the destiny of nations *. Therefore to care for children’s emotional needs and foster empathy is crucially important work for the future of human societies.

The challenge for all who work with children is to give more emotional support than we received as children ourselves. By releasing our own limiting emotional patterns we can more fully nourish the emotional growth of children. We become powerful agents for positive social change by nurturing children to become emotionally healthy and empathic adults, capable of the creative and collaborative actions needed to overcome the environmental and social challenges of the 21st century.

Many powerful personal growth methodologies now exist for releasing limiting subconscious patterns. An experiential introduction will be presented to the remarkable Sedona Method, founded by Lester Levenson. This simple and accessible method for releasing emotional reactivity will be proposed as an innovative approach, highly suitable for parents and all who work with children, including for professional development. Widespread use of such an emotional releasing approach has the potential to foster more empathic adults, with greater capacity to meet children’s emotional needs and thus the needs of the 21st Century.

* See Section 3 of Dr. Robin Grille's book Parenting for a Peaceful World, and his website Our Emotional Health

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