by Prof. Sherry Turkle
Sociologist Emile Durkheim coined the phrase anomie to describe a destabilized and destabilizing state when rules and rule givers lose legitimacy. It’s what we feel when we face a virus that plays by one set of rules, politicians who play by another, and a professional life that proceeds independent of each — and when we face all of this in social isolation. Empathy can help us navigate this period of anomie. The author outlines four practices, which she calls “empathy rules,” that can help us cut across the divisions in our lives and build a sense of community.