Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

I’m not a parent, I’m 28 years old and at a stage in life where I already have my degree and formal qualifications — I am lucky. A Londoner, I’m living in the Western world and so my viewpoints here are through a particularly privileged lens. But as I scrolled through BBC news and various articles yesterday around the struggles of homeschooling children I thought — why are we even bothering?

Despite not being a parent, I have been surrounded by children all of my life — growing up with my mum working as a childminder in our home before…

Building the #EmpathyGeneration in a pandemic

Teaching changed me. As a 22 year old, fresh out of university, I was placed in a large comprehensive in North London — starting out on my TeachFirst journey. Seemingly overnight, I became a teacher, a role model, a social worker, negotiator, psychologist, presenter, law enforcement and scarily — in loco parentis to students. Some whom were only 4 years my junior.

I will never do a harder job in my life than teaching. Fact.

Which other job requires you to prepare 21 hour long, different presentations (a week) that are to be delivered to over 200 people who may…

We’re born racist. We are racist. We should accept that we’re racist. Here’s how empathy is part of the problem but also the answer.

“Left to our own devices and prejudices, we instinctively prefer our own kind. Why do we have such careful criteria and protocols for professional job interviews? To correct this unconscious bias. My view is that we should openly accept this trait, the better to tackle it.” — Peter Bazalgette, Author of ‘The Empathy Instinct’

Photo by Josh Calabrese on Unsplash

(EDIT — Since publishing I’ve had a few conversations with others disagreeing with me on the choice of the subtitle — that we’re born racist. I should clarify here that I do not mean we come out of the womb slighting another because of the colour…

Children of Slum Soccer, an organisation that is the focus of Empathy Week 2020. (Location — Bokhara Village Nagpur, India.)

There are many definitions of empathy. Putting yourself in someone’s shoes; having the ability to feel with (not for) another; connecting with someone’s feelings to try and understand their perspective.

To be honest, the idea that you can “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” is difficult for me. I feel it not only does a disservice to what others have endured but it also underestimates the complexity of one’s culture and society. However, I appreciate it’s a popular phrase as it simplifies a very difficult concept. To me, empathy is all about gaining perspective, which is not something you can…

Ed Kirwan

CEO + Founder — Empathy Week | Building the #EmpathyGeneration across 48 countries and 6 continents |Personal —

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