We are living in a pluralistic world where differences and dogmatic thinking have isolated and divided us. Empathy is the bridge that can draw people together and help us to connect with others more deeply and effectively.
Here is a wonderful children's book targeted for boys and girls from ages five to nine. A little girl is reflecting on her place in the world: "I wonder why I am here, in this exact place." She wonders what it would be like to live somewhere else – on the other side of the world, in a city with millions of people, in a war ravaged country, or a refugee camp far from home. What if she had to move from place to place or work in a mine? She also tries to imagine what it would be like to be stranded in the desert, in the arctic, in a dense forest or in lands harmed by earthquakes and flooding.
Constance Ørbeck-Nilssen has crafted a very compelling case for empathy and its relative, imagination. Put them together and you have a skill that not only builds bridges but serves as a glue that improves all kinds of relationships. The soft and emotion-filled illustrations by Turkish-Norwegian illustrator Akin Duzakin supplement the text and amplify its sweep.