A short note about the impact for me , and I think many others, that the death of Jo Cox has had on politics.
In the world of anger management, it is well known the effects that our criticisms and judgements of others have on the relationship between us and them. To recap quickly, when I am judging someone I am not remotely connected to them and I am in the opposite of empathy (seeing the world from their perspective). When empathy is taken out of the equation we are close to, if not already in, conflict. Without any empathy it is too easy to commit acts of violence such as that committed against this 41-year-old married mother of 2.
The challenge with the world of politics is that we all sit in judgement of these people who are meant to serve us. It is too easy to see politicians expressing strong views in order to persuade us and feeling cynical. It does not help that a few, a tiny minority, have let us down and lead us along the merry path of living up to (or down to) the poor judgements we have of them.
Then something happens as has happened with Jo Cox and suddenly the person behind the political figure is revealed in true glory. The more we learn about Jo Cox the more we connect with her and her family and the more we start to empathise with the depth of the loss that they are feeling.
My point is this, if we looked deeper into the background and the whole person we see as a politician then in 99% of cases we would appreciate them more and judge them less. Then maybe we would be contributing to reducing the conflicted, judgemental and critical side of politics that has inevitably contributed to the tragedy that is Jo Cox’s death.
In a more general way, if we can learn to empathise more often than when we are forced to by tragedy and trauma then we can learn to connect and engage with others as the fellow humans that they are. We can learn to connect with any human.
If we can learn to do this the amount of conflict in the world would be vastly reduced.
The power is ours.