Empathy has been necessary to our survival since prehistoric times: Human beings can thrive only in community. And that is impossible if they cannot read the emotions and intentions of others. In small, everyday matters, too, the same principle holds: A person who tries to jump the line, or drops rubbish in the street, or makes a noise when others are trying to sleep is doing so because he is incapable of conceiving others’ reactions.
Have you ever witnessed a quarrel in which neither party had the least intention
or ability to see things from the other’s point of view? How painful. Yet it happens, and we see it
day after day in the arena of international relations.