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Dad begins parenting experiment focused on compassion

Kozo Hattori tells the Good Men Project that he's committing his life to a social experiment: He's going to raise boys to be, first and foremost, compassionate.
Lois M. Collins, Deseret News Modified: July 18, 2014 at 4:24 pm •  Published: July 21, 2014

In the wake of numerous school shootings, "viral humiliation" and teen suicide, one dad has decided to launch his family on a social experiment he hopes will serve them — and society — well.

Columnist Kozo Hattori tells the Good Men Project that he's committing his life to raising his sons to be, first and foremost, compassionate. He believes that "something is wrong with how we are raising our children." Each week, Hattori plans to write about his journey on his blog for the project.

As he explains it, "As the father of two young boys, I never want my sons to be involved in any of these atrocities. Of course, I don’t want them to be the perpetrators, but I also don’t want them to be the bystanders. I don’t just fear for their safety; I am concerned about their humanity."

Hattori wants to take a different approach than that of his own childhood, he notes. It was filled with strict rules and corporal punishment. He was physically abused and, like many who have been abused, he grew up a very unempathetic individual. He's faced relationship difficulties all his life and has had to work hard to change the course of his life. His goal is to do better by his sons, he said.

His biography on the Good Men Project calls Hattori "a writer and counselor for men and parents at Creator of the Compassionate Men Interview Series, he is working on a book and audio program titled 'Raising Compassionate Boys.’ ”

Lack of empathy and child abuse are often linked in research. The Sanctuary for the Abused, an online site that offers information and resources for people who have been abused, notes that "without empathy, there is no compassion. Empathy is the highest level of moral development. A person who totally lacks empathy has not conscience and is capable of committing horrific acts against others — child abuse, serial murder, genocide."

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