Laurie Mulvey

State College, PA, United States

Someone is shy

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Comments & conversations

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Laurie Mulvey
Posted about 3 years ago
Sam Richards: A radical experiment in empathy
So Nichola, for the past couple of weeks you have been consistently holding up the mirror to say, "you should be empathizing with all of the other downtrodden people of the world -- stop focusing on the evils committed by Americans." So let me respond once again in a different way. You seem to be concerned that too many people are knee-jerk anti-American politically correct leftists hell-bent on finding flaws in any and everything that the U.S. does that is wrong. And so with this in mind you continually throw people ideas back at them by coming up with some other terrible act that is undertaken by people in other parts of the world. So let me say that this, too, is a concern of mine because I run into plenty of people who seem to stop at the bad things the U.S. does and refuse to look at other countries and cultures. I suppose that it's too much fun to take shots at the big dog in the room -- but too be fair we sort of call it upon ourselves by constantly talking about how wonderful we are and how we support freedom and democracy everywhere...when in fact we often do so only when it's convenient for us (i.e., in our economic and political interests to do so). But please accept that IT IS POSSIBLE for some of us to critique injustice wherever we see it, whenever it occurs. And that sometimes...sometimes... we have to stop to turn our attention to the United States. So you are correct to remind people that other countries/people have done some very terrible things, but just remember that IT IS POSSIBLE to also talk about the U.S. and not be anti-American -- that sometimes it's time to turn our attention to this country.
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Laurie Mulvey
Posted over 3 years ago
How does the presenter impact the reaction to a talk? So how might people's reactions to my talk be different if I was retired military?
In answer to #2, Empathy (like other "soft skills" such as listening) seems like something we all do naturally and easily. My experience doing conflict resolution work for the past 15-20 years is that these are profoundly difficult things to do (and to even know how to do) in the moments when it's most necessary. And that's exactly why #1 occurred so often in response to your talk.
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Laurie Mulvey
Posted over 3 years ago
How does the presenter impact the reaction to a talk? So how might people's reactions to my talk be different if I was retired military?
I like what you're saying. And I do know that there's an entire field devoted to this way. (I'm actually in that field of work.) It's just that this category of person is seen more as a "professional," not a personality type or way of being. In fact, when I'm not doing this in a professional setting, it's easy for people to think I don't "get it" because I "get" the other side. I think this is an absence of a category.
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Laurie Mulvey
Posted over 3 years ago
How does the presenter impact the reaction to a talk? So how might people's reactions to my talk be different if I was retired military?
I notice that whenever I'm involved in a divisive issue, the people involved cannot even imagine that I could actually support the truth that exists on both sides of the conflict. The "warring" parties want to force me to take sides. And if I don't, they'll assume that I'm on the opposite side of them. It's as if we have no model, no ideal type that would allow us to recognize this category of person or perspective who can see beyond their own interests. I think that's part of the trouble some people have with Sam's talk.