This week’s post, “Imagine Your Best Self”, believe it or not, speaks to our theme of empathy and the empathetic habits, particularly our focus habit for this month. Our BCS Moral Compass is our touchstone and always our main focus as a way of being within our community, and Empathy is our annual theme this year at BCS as we focus on a different empathetic habits each month. This month we will focus on the fact that empathetic people have a moral imagination.
Moral Imagination defined in the below video as “creatively imagining the full range of options while making moral decisions.” Check out this 90-second video that gives a great summary of what moral imagination is including some questions to ponder (on your own or with your students) and a real life example with Nestle.
For a complete text excerpt from the video check out this Ethics Unwrapped link. As the video closes, “Indeed, moral imagination, combined with creativity and moral courage, enables both individuals and businesses to act more ethically in society.”
With the issues of valuing diversity with which our country is grappling today, give the article Bring Moral Imagination Back in Style a read, written by OP-ED writer Jennifer Finney Boylan published in the New York Times (01/22/2016). Her editorial, as a transgender woman, is on point. The two most poignant messages from the editorial, resonating with me, are Boylan’s take on moral imagination and Edmund Burke’s definition of it that she references in the article. Boylan reflects that “It wasn’t that I didn’t understand that she suffered, back when she was old and death and I was young and not. It’s that whatever she suffered from was something I didn’t need to be concerned with. It didn’t occur to me that imagining the humanity of people other than myself was my responsibility. And yet the root cause of so much grief is our failure to do just that.” She goes on to share that “Edmund Burke [calls] moral imagination, the idea that our ethics should transcend our own personal experience and embrace the dignity of the human race.” Let us at BCS “embrace the dignity of the human race” and support the students we serve in doing the same by nurturing the habit of moral imagination within them.
And finally, below is a Ted Talk by Penn State sociology professor Sam Richards which is a bit of “an exercise in moral imagination.” View the video and then reflect upon how you react to the claims made and evidence and reasoning shared (a bit of a CERS exercise from our Communicate Like a Cobra Rubric). Thank you in advance for making moral imagination for your students this month!