Irish actor Cillian Murphy has released a new book aiming to inspire schoolchildren to be more empathetic.
Murphy edited "Ionbhá: The Empathy Book for Ireland," which was released on October 5 and features a collection of poems, essays, and thoughts from well-known Irish figures.
89 contributors include Michael D. Higgins, Hozier, Tolü Makay, The Edge, Rachael Blackmore, Blindboy Boatclub, Mary Coughlan, Clodagh Finn, Katy Hyland, Imelda May, Brendan O’Connor, Louise O’Neill, Valerie Biden Owens and citizens from all walks of life.
All of all proceeds from Murphy's new book will go directly to delivering the Activating Social Empathy education programme in Irish schools and youth work organisations.
Murphy believes that it is especially important to teach children to be empathetic because the world is "very fractious" at present.
"The book was something that we had been talking about for ages, just to try and get this idea of empathy into the common vernacular/vocabulary," Murphy said following the release of the book.
"We want people to start talking about it and we’re promoting this program of empathy in schools. It’s already been rolled out in a lot of secondary schools across the country.
"The world is very fractious at the moment, and I think it’s a difficult place to exist, particularly as a young person now.
"Young people exist an awful lot of the time online and that takes great emotional demands from young people online," he continued. "This whole thing about empathy is about connection, the most basic description is walking in someone else’s shoes or seeing someone else’s perspective.
"We’ve done studies on these kids in school that have actually been through the course and all the kids showed higher levels of empathy."
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