The title statement echoes Freud’s celebrated slogan “Where id was, ego shall be!” Neither of these statements is an “either or” proposition. Freud did not propose to replace the id with the ego. It is not even clear what that could possibly mean. The idea is to expand the influence, control, and power of the second term over the first one. The ego expands its power; likewise, with empathy.
a rigorous and critical empathy
A new year and a new virus variant? Being cynical and resigned is easy, and the empathy training is to drive out cynicism and resignation – then empathy naturally comes forth. If given half a chance. People want to be empathic. The prediction is that with a rigorous and critical empathy (and getting a very high percent of the population vaccinated), we are equal to the challenge.
The paradox is the anti-social nature of social networking. The computer screen isolates the person even as the person is trying to connect. The contrary is also the case. The screen connects the person when the person wants to be alone, rudely announcing an incoming message by beeping, demanding one’s attention. Sometimes the screen brings out the anti-social tendencies instead of the pro-social ones, enabling one to be inauthentic, hiding behind a false self.
Empathy is never needed more than when it seems there is no time for it. Empathy is never needed more than when it seems the budget does not allow for it. Empathy is never needed more than when the cynicism and resignation about life, whether in the family or the corporate jungle, are so thick you can’t catch your breath.
Even in politics empathy is always empathy. However, politics brings along a whole new set of questions, issues, and challenges by with which empathy is confronted and to which empathy gets applied.