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Is the ‘Generation Me’ creating a crisis of empathy?

PUBLISHED: 17:20 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:21 26 October 2018

Bear Grylls - seen visiting Lowestoft Scouts at Fritton Lake Country Park in 2013 - is calling for action to end the emerging ‘Crisis of Empathy.' Picture: Mick Howes

Bear Grylls - seen visiting Lowestoft Scouts at Fritton Lake Country Park in 2013 - is calling for action to end the emerging ‘Crisis of Empathy.' Picture: Mick Howes

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Are our young people placing greater value on their own individual achievements and thus becoming more self interested and self centred?

Mark Boggis, right, EDP reporter, and Mick Howes, from the Lowestoft Summer Festival, kicking off the Big Coast Clean Up campaign at Lowestoft by the South Pier. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMark Boggis, right, EDP reporter, and Mick Howes, from the Lowestoft Summer Festival, kicking off the Big Coast Clean Up campaign at Lowestoft by the South Pier. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

New research released by the Scouts has shown that more than half of British adults say there is less empathy in UK society today than a year ago.

Maybe the growth of social media and what’s been dubbed ‘generation me’ is impacting on this view?

Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another and Scouting nationally is calling for action to end what they believe is the UK’s ‘Crisis of Empathy’.

Chief Scout Bear Grylls has called for urgent action to provide more opportunities for young people to develop key skills such as empathy and kindness. He said: “This emerging crisis of empathy is unacceptable – it is damaging society and reducing life chances.

“We believe we can help young people to develop this critical skill for life through volunteering and community projects.”

UK Scouts have introduced the opportunity to develop their powers of empathy while working towards a ‘Community Impact Badge’. By mixing with people from different backgrounds and by taking practical action working with the wider community helps to develop skills to succeed in life.

Locally scouts have already helped other organisations by planting bulbs, clearing woodland and litter picking. A strong contingent went to NORJAM Jamboree at the Norfolk showground in the summer where they mixed with many other scouts from different cultures, faiths and economic backgrounds.

They were able to work, cook play and socialise with people different from themselves and as a result gained a deeper understanding of others.

One current initiative by the 2nd Carlton Colville group will support the residents at the Carlton Hall Care Home.

When attending the Remembrance Parade that is being held in Carlton, the scouts will march via the Hall before attending church so the residents can be part of the parade. Later in November they are going to spend some time with the dementia residents doing art and crafts and just sitting and talking with them.

Every Scout makes a promise to help other people but in future they will also be putting empathy in practice.

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