The Planet needs some Empathetic Parenting

I’m not sure what I am doing here today. I might have gone completely off the track of a parenting blog, but I cannot escape a certain feeling of parentalness when I look at the many pictures like these floating around the internet the last few days. I know it sounds strange, but I feel sad about what the people of Egypt are doing to each other, much like a father might feel about his feuding sons. I want both sides to win and both to lose and both to come to their senses about hurting one another.

Yesterday, after days of rioting and protesting, and after the Egyptian army had begun to soften it’s tactics against the protesters, a new army of supporters of the Egyptian president hit the streets to start warring with the protesters. Neighbors and fellow community members were/are battling each other with rocks and clubs and whips. Men and women of all walks are out to destroy one another. And though I can easily empathize with those who feel that they must take up arms to protect their homes, and families and lives, I also cannot imagine taking those feelings up to another human and using them to give me the strength to strike that person down, or to empower me to hurl a rock at another innocent person who is just upset about the way things are.

I am so sad for these poor people. I am so sad that we humans must continue to bumble along hurting one another in ignorance and misdirected hostility. I am so sad that we continue to drive each other to the brink and over.

When will we learn? When will we see that all clashes of wills, all injustice, all suffering happens to humans just like us worthy of the same rights and of the same care as we are? When will we wake up to ourselves? When will we teach empathy as the lingua franca of the world? For I am convinced that empathy is the only thing that can save us from scenes like this in our shared future. Empathy is the only thing capable of shaking us from the stupor of tyranny, or the righteous anger of the oppressed. Empathy may be the only thing that can save our species at all.


Be well, my fellow humans. And be gentle with one another, too.


About Nathan M McTague, CPCC, CPDPE

I am a full-time parent of three, Writer, Life Coach, Lecturer, Parenting Mentor, and Shamanic Practitioner. In all of the above, I am seeking to assist my fellow humans in their processes of claiming and unleashing their highest potentials.
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4 Responses to The Planet needs some Empathetic Parenting

  1. kloppenmum says:

    The frustrating thing for me is that it would only take one generation of picking up their babies every time they cried, to get a shift in consciousness. No, it wouldn’t be enough, but it would mean that the next generation would be wired more closely to how biology intended us to be wired.
    The situation in Egypt is tragic, and is sadly mirrored in other settings (from homes to countries) ad nauseam around the world.

  2. Marsha says:

    Nathan, such an important post. Thank you for sharing. Have you seen Penn State Professor Sam Richards’ TEDx talk, “A Radical Experiment in Empathy”? Definitely moving, inspiring, and worth the 19 minutes.

    And, for parents who want to raise confident, healthy, happy, humane children and would like some guidance, and support, may I recommend (at the risk of seeming self-serving) two resources:

    Zoe Weil’s book: Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times

    And, Zoe’s organization, the Institute for Humane Education, also offers an online course for parents: Raising a Humane Child ( The next session begins in April.

    Peace for all,



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