While working in the stressful turmoil of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital emergency department, Dr. Brian Goldman was confronted by a troubling question: have I lost my ability to offer patients kindness?
“I’d discovered just how easy it is to be unkind in the moment,” recalled the physician and host of the CBC Radio series, White Coat, Black Art.
That thought gave rise to his third book: The Power of Kindness: Why Empathy is Essential in Everyday Life.
Goldman will speak about the experience Oct. 4 at Sarnia Library Theatre, where he’ll share stories and discuss his own personal development.
Goldman remembers early in his medical caree handling a case in a professional but less-than-compassionate manner. The family recognized his poor bedside manner, but forgave him anyway.
The interaction was an eye-opener for Goldman and triggered an internal journey and a trip around the world. While searching for empathy’s roots he met some of the “kindest people on the planet” along the way, he said.
“We’re hardwired for kindness. It’s not a case of inventing kindness. The challenge is to find what’s getting in the way of your kindness and empathy,” he said.
“In terms of evolution, it makes perfect sense… how could we build a society without having empathy for others?”
Given the hatred spewed on social media and the anger heard in news headlines and political debates, kindness and empathy are more important than ever, Goldman said.
“There just seems to be a lot of stick-it-to-em,’ he added. “I just think it’s such a waste of time and effort. Before you attack somebody else, imagine what it’s like to be that other person receiving that attack from you.”
Goldman’s book, and tickets for the event, are available at The Book Keeper.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Dr. Brian Goldman, author of The Power of Kindness: Why Empathy is Essential in Everyday Life
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Sarnia Library Theatre, 124 Christina St., Sarnia
TICKETS: $10, available at The Book Keeper, 500 Exmouth St. Sarnia, or www.sarniabookkeeper.com.