07 January, 2011

A lesson on the relative meaning of failure, on empathy and imagination

I found this video of J. K. Rowling’s 2008 commencement speech at Harvard via a Tweet from @marshallroberts. I happened to have spent most of the afternoon thinking about the violence that is corrupting humanness, causing unimaginable suffering, besides taking human lives in Congo.

I’ve written a couple of posts here about Congo’s blood minerals. But my mind, my imagination and my empathy have been aroused today by the inspired piece Amy Ernst wrote for Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times On the Ground blog: Notes From a Young American in Congo: A Good Man

@marshallroberts Tweet was

Question: How are empathy and imagination related? Let J.K. Rowling tell you: (new blog + video) #empathy

The link posted on the Tweet led me to John Marshall Roberts’ blog Persuasion Tools for Visionaries and the video of Rowland’s speech. I decided to embed it here on the hope that it makes the same impression on those who come here, it made on me and, I presume, on @marshallroberts.

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

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