Empathy through action

Am just back from Nairobi where I went to meet people involved in the work of the Conflict Sensitivity Consortium and to explore connections with empathy. My head is still full of images and stories; I am full of admiration for the Kenyan people I met doing amazing things, making a difference in their communities.

In places with inter-community violence, people are finding alternatives to revenge. Although my core interest is language and dialogue, it was obvious that here it is action that matters. Bringing people together to build a road that links their communities, so that in the process of working together they come to know each other as real human beings, is empathy constructed through action. Metaphors become literal. Or perhaps this is the physical experience from which metaphors are made.

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