Outrospection, which is about discovering who we are by stepping outside ourselves and exploring the lives of other people and cultures.
Sunday, January 13, 2013 ~ The Power of Outrospection
20th Century as the Age of Introspection…
21st Cenurty as the Age of Outrospection?
But philosopher Roman Krznaric believes that the 21st century needs to shift from introspection to outrospection, the ultimate art form for which is empathy.
In video clip beneath he unpacks . . .
“a revolution of human relationships . . .”
“empathizing in both space and time . . .”
“scaling up empathy . . .”
and “expanding our empathetic imaginations.”
Video of his full lecture is here,
but the short animated excerpt above is even more fun.
This newest RSA Animate production may provide you an introduction not just to a rising thinker, but to a new concept. “Writer on the art of living” Roman Krznaric, accompanied by the quick drawing of Andrew Park, wants to tell you about something called “outrospection.” Consider it less an entirely new practice than a fresh way of thinking about how to develop an old human capacity: empathy. He finds empathy not a “nice, soft, fluffy social concept,” but something powerful and potentially dangerous, a fuel for revolutions of all kinds.
For an example of empathy that looks to him proto-outrospective, Krznaric cites George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm. His plunge into the world of urban poverty — the deepest kind of first-hand research — to write Down and Out in Paris and London, coming to know, befriend, and work alongside the down-and-out themselves, makes him “one of the great empathic adventurers of the 20th century.” This line of thought connects Orwell’s active social curiosity to empathy as a potentially collective force; we even hear a call for new, empathy-oriented social institutions like a “human library” with actual people available for illuminating conversations. Empathy, to Krznaric’s mind, will only become more important in the 21st century, and those of us who can master outrospection, the skill of “discovering who we are by stepping outside ourselves and exploring the lives of other people and cultures,” will fare best there. If after the video you still find yourself confused about how best to engage in outrospection, don’t worry: Krznaric writes an entire blog on the subject.
Roman Krznaric’s Outrospection blog describes him as “a cultural thinker and writer.” He speaks on a variety of subjects including ”empathy, the history of love, the future of work, and the art of living.”
His 15-minute talk outlining elements of his book, “How to Find Fulfilling Work,” offers this bit of Aristotle wisdom:
Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation.
See also: NVC and Social Change
Step One ~ Coming from Gratitude
“Of course, even when you see the world as a trap and posit a fundamental separation between liberation of self and transformation of society, you can still feel a compassionate impulse to help its suffering beings. In that case you tend to view the personal and the political in a sequential fashion. “I’ll get enlightened first, and then I’ll engage in social action.” Those who are not engaged in spiritual pursuits put it differently: “I’ll get my head straight first, I’ll get psychoanalyzed, I’ll overcome my inhibitions or neuroses or my hang-ups (whatever description you give to samsara) and then I’ll wade into the fray.” Presupposing that world and self are essentially separate, they imagine they can heal one before healing the other. This stance conveys the impression that human consciousness inhabits some haven, or locker-room, independent of the collective situation — and then trots onto the playing field when it is geared up and ready.
It is my experience that the world itself has a role to play in our liberation. Its very pressures, pains, and risks can wake us up — release us from the bonds of ego and guide us home to our vast, true nature. For some of us, our love of the world is so passionate that we cannot ask it to wait until we are enlightened.” ― Joanna Macy, World as Lover, World as Self
We’ll be exploring Joanna Macy‘s work by way of open sentences…
“This exercise provides a swift and easy way for people to voice their inner responses to the condition of our world. Its structure helps people listen with total receptivity and to express thoughts and feelings that are usually censored for fear of comment or adverse reaction. The sequence of the sentences usually moves from thoughts and views to feelings.”
~ Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown, Coming Back to Life
“The heart that
breaks open can
― Joanna Macy
“Some things I love about being alive on the earth are…”
“A place that was magical to me as a child was…”
“A person in my life who helped me believe in myself is/was…”
“Some things that I appreciate about myself are…”
“Things I love about our world include…”
“Concerns I have about our world include…”
“A perspective I find inspiring or refreshing is…”
“Steps I can take to participate in the Great Turning include…”
“To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe — to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it — is a wonder beyond words.” ― Joanna Macy
By Dori Midnight
- opening to gratitude,
- owning our pain for the world,
- seeing with new eyes,
- going forth.