Working on Empathy #rtweek15

Responsible Travel Week Day #5. Today’s challenge: Be empathetic.

Empathy is intuitive, but is also something you can work on, intellectually. – Tim Minchin, Life Lessons

Topical Discussion: Volunteering and Voluntolding

In many ways, it’s much easier to be attentive, creative, curious than it is to be empathetic. We know if we are or are not being attentive. We know the limits of our comfort zone at which we begin to lose our curiosity. But empathy? How do we really know how another person feels?

The easiest answer I’ve developed is to ask and to listen carefully to the response. True empathy (peak empathy?) is something we work on. It’s a variation of the Platinum Rule — treating others the way they want to be treated and I’ve long thought that this is the essence of responsible travel for guest and host alike. If we know the visitor will be confused by our signage, we find new ways of communication. If we know the host prefers that we abstain from alcohol, we abide by the protocol. There are a thousand ways of fine tuning the relationships among those visiting and those hosting.

Book recommendation: I’ve just started reading Empathy by Roman Krznaric. I’d encourage you to check out the ever-expanding Empathy Library.

Today is World Radio Day, so I would like to issue a special challenge. Name, link and favorite the radio programs you love. Let us know your favorite podcasts that inspire, educate and entertain. Let me start the World Radio Day kudos with special thanks to Australia’s Radio National or RN. Twitter: @RadioNational. Yes, I am still disappointed that Bush Telegraph is no longer aired, but that does not detract from my affection for Future Tense , Star Stuff , Strike Zone, Late Night Live and Off Track now in its fourth glorious, podcastable year. In my mind, Off Track is the kind of outdoor program that I wish every country made available to the world. From wildlife detector dogs to public labyrinths, Off Track introduces us to great concepts and nicer people.

Cape Town:1-2pm Responsible Travel Week Flash Mob, V&A Waterfront

Google+ Hangout, 830am PST, YouTube

Guests: Sallie Grayson

Platinum Rule: Do unto others as they would like to have you do unto them.

What's on your playlist? February 13 is World Radio Day #worldradioday @WorldRadioDay @UNESCO

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