Welcome to my blog. For some time, I’ve been wanting to blog because I get asked questions; come across insightful information; and have thoughts to share about poverty, faithful living, social justice, or life in general. This format allows me more space than other media AND encourages a disciplined approach to writing. I hope that what I have to say and what you want to hear or respond to align. I know we can learn from each other. We can help each other grow in amazing ways.
So here’s my first official post:
A study released in 2010 by Michael Kraus of the University of California, San Francisco found that rich people were not as good at reading other’s emotions as those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds! (This might explain some of the difficulties that decision makers have understanding what poverty feels like.) The study asked a mixture of 300 people from various socioeconomic backgrounds to look at photos of people and interpret their emotions. The groups also watched mock interviews with the same assignment. Those with more resources (education, money, status) were not nearly as adept with reading others’ feelings as those from lower economic groups.
This actually makes sense. For those with few resources, relationships with people is their most important asset. They must be able to read others for their own survival. People with resources may believe that they do not need significant relationships and so have not developed their skills of reading emotions.
There is hope, however. Another study demonstrated that upper socioeconomic people could greatly improve their empathy responses when asked to imagine themselves in the situations as their neighbors who live and work in poverty. This is great news for Our Eyes Were Opened which does just that–enlarge understanding in order to decrease judgment and increase compassion! The poverty simulation, workshops, poverty tours, and books all intend to help upper socioeconomic people improve their empathy!