This is not to say that feeling—including empathy—has no role to play in addressing inequality and injustice. Though empathy is ambivalent and fallible, it points to our persistent longing for connection and reciprocity, which are necessary for the development of real solidarity across social, cultural and economic differences. But in a world where hope and opportunity are distributed unequally, we need to ask what kind of connections we want.
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Have HBO? Be sure to tune in on March 17th to see our documentary produced in association with HBO, Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert , which shows an intimate portrait of one family’s life living on the brink of poverty.