As I was recycling some of my old folders and papers, I came across an editorial I saved from 2011. Written by Gregory Rodriguez of the LA Times, he made two significant points in the article.
- First, he encourages us to become “double-minded,” that is, to learn and practice the skill of taking into account the feelings of another, of practicing empathy.
- Secondly, he notes that the way we can learn to develop our better selves is to follow the example of the poet, Matthew Arnold (no relation as far as I know) of 19th century England. Arnold encouraged people to engage with the arts, the humanities, and literature, especially with experiences that do not try to persuade people to a particular way of thinking. The pursuit of culture equaled the pursuit of the better self in Arnold’s mind. Rodriguez notes also that “great art and ideas can elevate us above pettiness and teach us empathy.”