The following video features Chaz Ebert discussing the inaugural Day4Empathy scheduled for Wednesday, April 4th, 2018, in Chicago. Included with it is a transcript of the video.
April 4th is the fifth anniversary of the death of my late husband, Roger Ebert. When I’m asked about his legacy, I always say it’s his talk about empathy. Roger said that movies are a machine that generates empathy, that allows you to stand in someone else’s shoes and really feel what it is like to be a person of another race or another age or another socioeconomic level, of another religion or nationality.
When we can really feel what it is like to be another person and in their situation, it helps to bring about an act of kindness because we want to help alleviate the suffering of another. It helps us to be more compassionate about people, it helps us to be more forgiving. Those principles of empathy and kindness and compassion and forgiveness were part of his moral compass that I admire and want to see carried forward.
So what we’re doing is launching a #Day4Empathy. We’re asking people to bring their best selves forward in their interactions with others, whether it’s at work, at school, at play, to have water cooler conversations about what empathy means to them, and to show how it helps make their community better, and how it make their lives better. On this fiftieth anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr., I’m reminded of his admonition that “the time is always right to do what is right.”