Is 'empathetically correct' the new politically correct?
Over dinner with some long-time friends, we were discussing the difficulty their grandson, a recent engineering grad, was having finding a job. Knowing that the religious school he attended was certainly not noted for engineering, I asked why he hadn’t gone to the University of Minnesota. At the “U” he would have gotten a far better engineering education, paid much less tuition and accessed the U’s magnificent engineering career network.
“He wasn’t comfortable” with the University, his grandmother responded. Without thinking, I blurted out that I thought the purpose of college was to make the student “uncomfortable.” They were silent for a moment, then broke out into laughter, and agreed fully with my conclusion.
Disturbing the personal status quo
So I was both intrigued and delighted by a blog from Karen Swallow Prior in The Atlantic declaring that “Empathetically Correct” Is the New Politically Correct. Prior’s got her finger on a very important subject. It’s not an oversimplification to suggest that empathy is all about making people comfortable, not disturbing their status quo.
The recent list of those having to back out of commencement speeches because it would make the grads uncomfortable is...