Empathy in design, leadership, and pretty much everything else

 

Here’s the talk I did at Headspace Headquarters as part of the Evenings at the Loft event with my friend Bernadette Irizarry of Velvet Hammer Design.

Science fiction & Science fact: What they tell us about emotions

So imagine our world, at some time in the future where everyone values their emotion as much as their intellect. In this world, people are happier. There’s less conflict and misunderstanding. Relationships are deeper. We are more able to consistently accomplish what we set out to do. Life in general is more fulfilling. Here’s the thing though. This doesn’t have to be a science fiction futuristic fantasy. Science non-fiction tells us that this imagined future is possible right now.

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The one idea that will make you a better person

When we recognize this in others, we become better people. When we recognize this in ourselves, we become better people. Isn’t it interesting that to become a truly special human being, that what it takes is to focus on the basics of being human?

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Is it misery, sadness, loneliness, or Depression?

This is one of the most valuable insights that I learned from one of my mentors during residency – that there’s “misery” which we’re all bound to experience at some point in our lives, and then there’s Depression, and they are not the same.

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You really should change your mind

“I feel I change my mind all the time. And I sort of feel that’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being – to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.”
Malcolm Gladwell, heavyweight thinker, author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, wordsmith

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Parents should be like gardeners, not project managers

We should step back when our kids demonstrate autonomy and competency so as to not confuse them or undermine their self-confidence. When they are developmentally unable to do things we should absolutely do all of it for them and reassure them that there are no expectations for them to do things in which they are not capable. At the edge of their emerging abilities, we should be most active and engaged, collaborating with them to facilitate their imminent growth.

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For the Republican Senator, political revenge Trumps American lives

This is politics at its worst. The primary motivation here has nothing to do with health care. It is to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. The party line is that “it was a campaign promise” and GOP senators are saying that giving the people what they want is why they are trying so hard to pass this legislation. Liars. This has nothing to do with campaign promises and everything to do with hurt feelings and political revenge – at the expense of the wellbeing of all Americans regardless of who you voted for.

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It’s the church you attend, not the Bible you read

Evangelicals want to believe that their core beliefs are completely, inerrantly Biblical, when in fact a big study like this shows that many of those disparate beliefs are denominational and influenced by the political associations of their congregants and their Republican pastors.

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Who is lying and who is telling the truth, Comey or Trump?

What was remarkable about Comey’s testimony was that it was easy to take it all as being true. He spoke openly and provided many details. He answered questions. He didn’t give non-answers. He has a good memory of key events. He used sound reasoning. His answers made sense. He was blunt when necessary.

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Be a Democrat not because people are good, but because people can’t be trusted

C.S. Lewis, author and Christian thinker said: “Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.”

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What’s worse? Overt or casual racism?

All racism is dependent on intellectual laziness, but casual racism is its own category of insult because it happens in the context of privilege – where the speaker doesn’t have the fear of consequence to speak with said dehumanizing intellectual laziness.

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Men beat women. So why is it a women’s issue?

Important thoughts here about how the subtlety of language causes all of us to think of the most common scenario of gender violence (male violence towards women) as a women’s issue when in fact the perpetrators of the violence are the men, which means that it is clearly the violent men that have the issues, which makes it a men’s issue.

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How long to sing this song?

How long, how long must we sing this song? The call and answer for hardcore U2 fans is “I will sing, sing a new song” until we meet again.

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Whitewashing is wrong. Angry Asian Americans are right.

Angry Asian American voices make a difference and aren’t going away. We’re woke. Despite having A-list White Hollywood stars, Aloha, Ghost in a Shell, The Great Wall all bombed at the box office because of Whitewashing casting and the negative press received before these films were released. Ni’ihau will bomb too.

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Republicans choose Party over American lives

So you know who will be responsible for the death of the most Americans over the next few years? Not ISIS. Not war. Not home grown terrorists. Not bad hombres. Not refugees from Muslim countries. Republican legislators and the President.

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House GOP bill to ensure sickness for all Americans

It is absurd that this new “health care” bill makes it at minimum harder for most and near impossible for many sick people to get appropriate disease, illness, and injury care. And the most vulnerable are even more at risk – poor sick people, old sick people, already sick people. But it’s good for the rich and healthy – the only time it’s better to be a minority in America.

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“No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life.”

There’s sadness to the reality of how this works, but I accept that this is how this works. So I’m hoping that because another charismatic, articulate, and passionate celebrity’s son got sick and could have died (but thankfully didn’t) that we can all care about universal access to health care.

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