Christian Long

Daniel Goleman: Compassion

In TED Talks on April 20, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Reflection by HANNAH W.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Daniel Goleman:  Compassion

In this TED talk, Daniel Goleman talks about compassion and the effect on human beings. Compassion is a type of emotion that we all as humans deal with. The big question, according to Goleman, is why we aren’t more compassionate most of the time?

Goleman states that “our time is in the wrong direction.”

I agree with him on this statement. I think that when we are more concerned about ourselves, we put others needs aside. Our own needs become so important that others doe not matter to us until our needs are finally fulfilled. Goleman talked about in the video of how he was listing the donations he gave. He said that he received a “narcissistic hit” when he was giving because he felt good about himself. I happen to experience this and I am pretty sure others do to. When you give it makes you feel like you have made a difference in some one’s life. The level of selfishness decreases while the level of compassion towards others increases. happiness begins to occur and then you feel like giving more than before. It motivates people to be more compassionate towards others and like Goleman said, it is a “motivator.”

When Goleman talked about his brother in law and the Santa Cruz strangler all I could think about was the monster from Frankenstein. he was extremely smart but unhappy because he wasn’t loved by his creator. His rejection from his creator turns into anger, which leads into murders of the people his creator knew. The Santa Cruz strangler states “Oh no. If I’d felt the distress, I could have not done it. I had to turn that part of me off.” Compassion plays apart of this, because if he felt bad before then he wouldn’t have done it.

Like the monster in Frankenstein, if he would’ve felt compassion before from his creator, then he wouldn’t have done all of the killing.

Lastly, Goleman talked about how Alice Charney Epstein talked about the test when a guy asks a question with “you” in it. I think that when a person asks with “you” in it, it makes that person feel like the other person cares about them. The attention is focused on that person. i think that people need compassion because it shows that others care about them instead of themselves all of the time. It’s like a need within all of us. It seems like if we don’t have at least on person who shows compassion about us or for us, then life is just an abyss of unhappiness.


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