The Empathy Foundation's vision is of a world in which children grow up surrounded by people who know them and love them; where children’s ability to grow in their unique and natural way is understood and trusted; where children’s marvellous work of creating themselves, according to their true and unique nature, is supported with appropriate richly interesting environments; where children are valued and cherished in skilful ways based on our knowledge of what children need at different ages; where people who care for children are highly valued, trained, supported and paid; where resources for early childhood are abundant.
Empathy is the key capacity which enables us to connect from the heart and provide a nourishing growth environment for children and everyone.
A new generation in which most adults have grown up with empathy will be a new experience for the world. Such people are naturally non-violent, creative, engaged, cooperative and socially responsible. With even 25% of our next generation like that we have a good chance of finding solutions to sharing this earth sustainably and justly and continuing humanity’s evolution. Who knows what will happen!
The story the Empathy Foundation is telling is not well known. It is a transformational one. So many loving parents are unaware of the damaging effects of using behavioural manipulation with reward and punishment. The pleasure of setting limits with children through heart connection is still largely unknown. Heart to heart connection is a teachable skill. There are many, many parents and teacher and others who are looking for this knowledge.
Most children in childcare and school are in a state of chronic stress. Huge numbers of families are highly stressed. Schools have huge discipline problems. Violence of teenagers is causing concern. All these are signs of disconnection, of lack of heart to heart connection, lack of empathy. Misbehaviour is the attempt to become reconnected.
Only a society which values heart connection and knows how to facilitate it will survive in the 21st century. Heart to heart connection is the key to closeness and leads to spontaneously cooperative behaviour, arising from love not out of desire for rewards, or fear of punishment. War is a consequence of unempathic disconnected people. This is not a theory; the evidence is vast for this assertion. History shows that in times of scarce resources suppressed aggression from childhood emotional trauma is let loose. We need a peace-loving generation to go through these challenges without destroying each other, civilisation and the earth’s environment. To raise a generation of babies empathically is the quickest and most effective way to achieve this change of heart in our population.
Everything we need as a species for the future of humanity and the earth is within our innocent and brilliant children. All we need to save the world is to liberate our children from the stress of unnatural and coercive environments, into environments which allow them to grow into the shining, healthy, creative, loving beings that are inside us all. To do this, adults must be supported to understand the nature of children and their needs. Adults need caring support and training to grow their own capacity for empathy, and thus to be willing and able to provide empathy-nourishing environments for children.
Growing the capacity of adults to care for children empathically is the work of the Empathy Foundation, which I humbly ask you to support.