Interesting little piece by Yahoo News yesterday, with some research to back up something I’ve definitely noticed. College students today are less likely to ‘get’ the emotions of others than their parents were.
This new study from Michigan’s Institute for Social Research reviewed 72 studies of 14,000 American college students and found a huge empathy drop after the year 2,000.
“Generation Me” is earning their name.
The article proposes all kind of theories as to why, including increased exposure to media, social media, and today’s hypercompetitive focus on success. But another theory is simply how busy people are and the fact that they don’t have time to sit down and just listen to others. A graduate student interviewed in the article suggested, “College students today may be so busy worrying about themselves and their own issues that they don’t have time to spend empathizing with others…”
My two cents: Get our kids involved in mission work. The more we expose our kids to the compassion of Christ and put them in situation where they can serve the needs of others, even just listening… the more our kids get out of their little “me” bubble.
Talk with any kid after a mission trip (even local trips feeding the homeless) and you’ll see a slightly different worldview.