Empathy is overwhelmingly important to success. It’s a skill you have to build, and Greater Good suggests that one way to build it is by visiting museums.
Image from nox_noctis_silentium.
At first glance, museums may seem to be more about educating the public and displaying art or artefacts, but the beautiful thing about them is that they also provide access to perspectives other than our own, from people of all walks of life, time periods and geographic regions. A few things they offer:
- Exposure to Other’s Stories: Many exhibits use individual’s narratives to help us better understand the story behind and importance of artefacts, displays and documentation of historical events. Putting a face to what we’re learning about helps us better identify with that person’s experience, even if they’re only a fictional character that’s representative of a larger group.
- Interactive Exhibits: When a museum has exhibits that allow us to literally put ourselves in other’s shoes, it helps us better understand other’s experiences. The Center for Civil & Human Rights’ lunch counter and Dialogue in the Dark are both examples of interactive exhibits that increase your empathy.
- Alters How We Process Information: A museum’s environment is typically different than what we experience every day, so it gives you a quieter, safe space to process and encourages you to think about what you’re learning. You might approach an display with a different mindset than if the same information were presented to you during daily life.
Museums are fun and informative trips all around, but now you have another good reason to visit one this weekend.
Five Ways Museums Can Increase Empathy In the World [Greater Good]