Indeed, considering the broad spectrum of human experiences and mental states, it's crucial to avoid generalizations, especially when it comes to parenting. The example of individuals with certain mental conditions or states who do not perceive them as negative is quite thought-provoking. It challenges our conventional understanding of what constitutes a 'healthy' or 'normal' mental state.intentes_pupil wrote: ↑April 29th, 2022, 2:26 amPattern-chaser wrote: ↑April 28th, 2022, 11:08 amPattern-chaser wrote: ↑April 27th, 2022, 6:56 am Empathy is a difficult concept, even though it might not seem so at first glance. I don't think that "everybody feels the same and everybody has the same needs," that's a problem with the Golden Rule. If you treat everyone else 'as you would wish to be treated', there are some whose needs are different from yours. The Golden Rule really needs to say 'treat everyone as they would wish to be treated (and expect the same from them in return)'.
IMO, of course.I see what you're getting at, and agree. But it isn't really what I was getting at. I was actually thinking of a particular, if unusual, example. If an autistic person is distressed, some (following the Golden Rule) might act as they hope someone else would act toward them, and put a comforting arm around the distressed person. But the autist has a problem with personal physical contact, and is made more distressed by the unwanted 'handling'.intentes_pupil wrote: ↑April 28th, 2022, 8:17 am I think we think the same, we just say it differently.
When I say "everybody has the same feelings and needs" I mean that needs and feelings are universal concepts (needs: autonomy, connection, meaning, play, peace, etc ; feelings: affection, excitement, connection, etc). BUT, how strong those needs/feelings are differentiate us from each other (and even moment to moment).
I guess that is the same you mean when you say "there are some whose needs are different from yours", right?
This is a very detailed and unusual example, I admit. But it does illustrate the point I tried to make in my previous post: not everybody wants or needs to be treated as you would in their circumstances. In that sense, if no other, our needs can be quite different from someone else's.
In those specific cases I agree with you.
I find it also very interesting the way people with some mental conditions (sorry if I am not using the most appropriate term here, not meaning to be disrespectful) perceive the world. A nice example I found while listening Lex Friedman Podcast interview with Karl Deisseroth about bioengineering, depression, schizophrenia, ets; was the fact (unknown for me till then) that there are people who are highly psychotic but it does not have a negative impact in their lives and therefore they are not considered to have a mental conditions. These are people who hallucinate while daydreaming or have deep spiritual experiences, etc.
That changes the whole game and makes me question the "nature" and origin of things like feelings, thoughts, etc. Analyzing only the extremes leads to unsuccessful rules and generalizations, but obviating them leads to partial truths.
This also calls into question our approach towards parenting. Perhaps instead of trying to universally 'avoid mistakes' or fulfill certain predefined needs, we should strive to understand and respect the unique mental and emotional landscape of each child. This perspective shifts the focus from 'correcting' or 'improving' based on our experiences and towards observing, listening, and accommodating the distinct needs of our children.
This doesn't negate the importance of empathy, but it underscores the importance of an informed empathy - one that respects individual differences and is flexible enough to adapt. We should be cautious of any one-size-fits-all approach, even when it comes to something as universally endorsed as empathy.