A few of us at Merriam-Webster were privileged to attend TED2015, where we enjoyed soaking up the heady atmosphere of creativity, breakthrough problem-solving, open-spiritedness, and generosity. If you’re not familiar with TED, you can check it out - some of this year's presentations are already online. The goal of this piece is not to recap the talks. We are not reporters; we are simply lovers of language, and we wanted to share the delight and inspiration we found in revisting the words that moved us. This is admittedly a somewhat random list, but we hope it gets you thinking as these words did for us.
We define empathy as "the ability to share someone else's feelings or emotions," and it is the root of what it means to be human. But it's also the basis of much important problem-solving. For example, having enough to eat but also having empathy for those who don't, spurs scientists in first-world countries to solve issues of global food supply.
We also heard how empathy can help overcome the increasingly prevalent problem of online bullying and harassment. In the words of Monica Lewinsky, "shame cannot survive empathy."