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Just give me three minutes. Just three. Click below and watch this video. Don’t worry what it is about, just click here. That’ll be two of the three minutes.
To start a productive discussion–ideas are first born in the mind and then become food for thought that can be digested in public in fruitful exchanges–let me begin this article on empathy with a multiple-choice question. According to the experts, which option below is the most empathic response?
If you hear that a colleague is getting bad results at school because of a hard phase he/she is going through, what are your thoughts?
a. This person does not know how to establish priorities.
b. Oh, poor thing! What can I do to help?
c. It might someday happen to any of us.
d. It is none of my business. I barely know this person.
In Hong Kong it is not uncommon for the written English script to be described in a derogatory way by its school-aged Chinese learners. They describe it as looking like “ugly worms” or “chicken guts.” No doubt there are other labels, but these are the ones that my secondary-school students were willing to share with me. One Chinese teaching colleague, newly returned from a self-driving holiday in Europe, told me that he had developed “alphabet headaches” from all the road signs that he was obliged to read.