The Art of Empathy: An Interview with Karla McLaren

March 29, 2014
Hosted by Marianna Cacciatore

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Episode Description

What if there were a single skill that could directly and radically improve your relationships and your life? Karla McLaren believes that skill is empathy, and she knows it is a skill we can develop and manage. Karla writes: Empathy is everywhere: it’s in the air you breathe and the ground you walk on; it makes relationships, communities, and societies work. And yet, empathy can also be something of a mystery. Because empathy is such a central part of everything you do, you can overlook it and almost ignore the processes that make empathy work (or stop working.) Certainly at our non-profit organization, Bread for the Journey, empathy is a central function in the art of becoming a person who is generous of spirit. Join me this week as I speak with Karla McLaren about her groundbreaking book, The Art of Empathy – A Complete Guide to Life’s Most Essential Skill. Together we’ll learn what empathy is, how to develop it or calm it down, and what makes it so mysterious.

Bread for the Journey Radio

Bread for the Journey Radio

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Today’s news is filled with stories that break our hearts. On Bread for the Journey Radio, you’ll hear stories that help mend it back together. Join Marianna Cacciatore as she interviews ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things, often small and always meaningful, to make our world a better place. Some, like Marianna, have suffered a tragedy, and, as a result, have created something beautiful to bring others healing. Others are helping women in crisis, making life better for children living in poverty, greening their neighborhood, or any number of creative things that make their community more beautiful, healthy, and connected. These women, men and young people inspire us to think about our own lives, and what we can do to make a difference in the world. Their stories become Bread for our Journey, inspiration and nourishment for a life well lived.

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Marianna Cacciatore

Marianna Cacciatore

Most would agree Marianna Cacciatore’s life has been one well-lived. Through her work over 25 years with people who are working to bring about a better world, she has a unique vantage point from which to tell the stories we don’t generally hear in the media today. Marianna possesses the rare gift of presence, a deep listening which evokes in people the desire to tell their story.

Having suffered a childhood tragedy that spiraled downward into her teens and young adult years, she eventually turned things around and created a grief center that has brought healing to thousands of people. She recounts the full story in her book, Being There for Someone in Grief. Today, she serves as a Lifetime Emeritus Board Member of Tu Nidito in Tucson, Arizona, the parent agency for the organization she founded in 1988 called Children to Children, a Center for Children and Families in Grief.

Everyday Marianna meets ordinary people doing extraordinary things through her work as Executive Director of Bread for the Journey, a philanthropic organization with 20 locations nationally. Each volunteer-run chapter practices neighborhood philanthropy in their respective communities, helping everyday people bring their community-minded ideas to life. The Bread for the Journey vision is to nurture the seed of generosity in every human heart and Marianna’s life is a living expression of just that. Join her as she ignites the heart of generosity in you.

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