Recent evidence has focused on why empathy is interwoven into our genetic material through our neurons. Scientists have found groups of brain cells called mirror neurons. You mirror whatever you see around you. Whatever emotion is visible to you, be that pain, joy, love, etc. is felt by you. What you see in other people or even animals for that matter, you feel in your brain and throughout your body. There are individuals that have lost or never formed these types of mirror connections.
Some psychopathic killers have a disconnect between what is viewed and what is felt in their destructive brains. The results play out in explosive insane episodes of violence with zero empathy because of deficient mirror neurons.
Some individuals are more in-tune then others regarding feeling someone’s pain. The tighter the bond between two individuals, the stronger the emotional connection.
An example is why a husband can actually experience a lesser version of the excruciating pain his wife feels during child-birth. Another example is when a close friend views a traumatic event occurring to the other with a transference of all the pain and emotion grasped by the non-afflicted member.
We have also learned that autistic children have something going on differently with their mirror neurons. Most don’t like the social aspect of life therefore their empathy neurons may not be in sync with the other neurons in their brain. Research is ongoing to trying to determine specifically how mirror neurons fit in with an autistic child.
Human beings achieve higher functionality as a group. A shared environment makes the tribe members more complete regarding their quality of life. It fosters hope of getting along when we work together for a common goal. We just need to view others as we see ourselves. It’s a matter of taking off the biased blinders and opening up our eyes, mind and heart. Looking way beyond color, culture, religious, economic or sexual groupings and forming one partnership of seven billion plus beautiful homo sapiens. This would be more than enough karma for even the aliens to come down and embrace all of humanity.
I have included two fascinating YouTube videos that go more into depth on mirror neurons and empathy.
The first is a NOVA program narrated by an amazingly intelligent man named Robert Krulwich.
This next video is a fascinating presentation on empathy. The hyperactive nature of both the speaker and the visuals makes this exhibition of both tongue and hand incredibly innovative. See how many more brain wrinkles you form after this display of talent. 🙂