In this TED talk
, Daniel Goleman, psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence
, discusses our natural propensity for compassion. He explains how we have “mirror neurons” which automatically allow us to feel “with” someone and make compassionate choices. However, in order to do this successfully, it is imperative that we are able to focus less on ourselves. Dr. Goleman cites a study in which an individual’s response to a person in need depended on how much of a hurry they felt they were in. When we are preoccupied with being in a hurry, we can not be as responsive. But when we are less concerned with ourselves, we are able to focus on others, feel empathy, and act compassionately.