Community & Government, Wellness

Meet Your Instructors

Pharrell Williams introduces you to the class and the co-instructors who will discuss the importance of empathy in their lives and their careers.

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Topics include: The Power of Empathy


[ FOOTSTEPS] [INTERPOSING VOICES] [CHIPS CLACKING] [BOW SLIDING] [CROWD CHEERING] [BOARD TOUCHES CONCRETE] [PENCIL SCRATCHES PAPER] [STRING MUSIC] - I think empathy is the most important thing. It's not a natural thing to just literally think of others all the time. It's just not. But you constantly have to challenge yourself to be a little bit more open to what other people are going through. That's what goes into my music. That's what goes into anything that I do that has to do with creativity. Empathy is the best tool for that. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It's the foundation to any kind of connective process. And actually, this is one of those, like, subjects that just needs many people to come in. Just get everybody to talk about empathy from their point of view. ROXANE GAY: A lot of us are very set in our ways. We think what we think. We feel what we feel. And we're not really interested in outside points of view. But you don't really ever grow when you allow yourself to be constrained like that. ROBIN ARZON: Empathy is so key because oftentimes, we feel like we're alone. And the more we're willing to share our differences, that creates much more empathy because with more stories there are to draw from, it widens the aperture of understanding. WALTER MOSLEY: But if you're really doing art, if you're writing, then you have to know how these people feel. And you have to care about it. And not just the people you like, also the people you don't like. That is art. ROBERT REFFKIN: As much as technology is transforming the world, we're still all people. And it's still all based off relationships. If you want to help somebody, you have to understand their mindset. GLORIA STEINEM: Empathy goes to the root of humanity because it allows us to feel what other people are feeling. And it's the basis of any social justice movement. CORNEL WEST: The real challenge transforming any society is the wholesale universal applicability of empathy to everybody. PHARRELL WILLIAMS: Empathy's greatest potential is equality for all mankind. We've never seen that. But can we work on it? Yeah, we could. We could. I wanted to talk about empathy because two things. One, I feel like it's something that we definitely need. Number two, I'm not a master of Black music. I'm not a master of anything. I'm a fan of music. And I'm lucky to do it. And I know that it's opened so many doors for me. But I'm a student. I'm super clear on that. I think what makes a good student is working with masters in different disciplines, using the backdrop of some talent or skill. You meet people. You enter conversations. You read things. Your mind starts to open up. And you start to realize that there's more going on in the world than you and your dreams. That's where you start to have the conversation of empathy. And then what ...

About the Instructor

For the first time ever on MasterClass, a diverse range of our instructors come together to talk about the power of empathy and how it can transform the way you view the world. Join Pharrell Williams, Robin Arzón, Roxane Gay, Walter Mosley, Robert Reffkin, Gloria Steinem, and Cornel West as they share their experiences with empathy and its importance in their lives and careers. Learn how to exercise, cultivate, and promote empathy to connect with others on a deeper, more human level.

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Pharrell Williams, Robin Arzón, Roxane Gay, Walter Mosley, Robert Reffkin, Gloria Steinem, and Cornel West

Pharrell Williams, Robin Arzón, Roxane Gay, Walter Mosley, Robert Reffkin, Gloria Steinem, and Cornel West teach about leading life with empathy.

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