“In this landmark book, Jamil Zaki gives us a revolutionary perspective on empathy: Empathy can be developed, and, when it is, people, relationships, organizations, and cultures are changed.”—Carol Dweck, author of Mindset
Empathy is in short supply. Isolation and tribalism are rampant. We struggle to understand people who aren’t like us, but find it easy to hate them. Studies show that we are less caring than we were even thirty years ago. In 2006, Barack Obama said that the United States is suffering from an “empathy deficit.” Since then, things only seem to have gotten worse.
It doesn’t have to be this way. In this groundbreaking book, Jamil Zaki argues that empathy is not a fixed trait—something we’re born with or not—but rather a skill that we can all strengthen through effort.
Drawing on both classic and cutting-edge research, including experiments from his own lab, Zaki shows how we can harness this new mindset to overcome toxic cultural divisions. He also tells the stories of people who are living these principles—fighting for kindness in the most difficult of circumstances. We meet a former neo-Nazi who is now helping extract people from hate groups, ex-prisoners discussing novels with the judge who sentenced them, Washington police officers changing their culture to decrease violence among their ranks, and NICU nurses fine-tuning their empathy so that they don’t succumb to burnout.
Written with clarity and passion, The War for Kindness is an inspiring call to action. The future may depend on whether we accept the challenge.
Advance praise for The War for Kindness
“With alarming evidence of our society's rapidly diminishing empathy, Zaki draws on decades of clinical research, along with experiments conducted at his lab, to consider the forces that impact our modern condition… [a] well-researched call to action and an urgent message.”—Kirkus Reviews
“In this masterpiece, Jamil Zaki weaves together the very latest science with stories that will stay in your heart forever. If you'd like the world to be a kinder place, starting with your own capacity for empathy, read The War for Kindness. You'll never be the same.”—Angela Duckworth, author of Grit
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