This: “One reason the rich may be less likely to value others is because they can afford to hire help to serve their needs (like child care and home repairs) rather than depend on a neighbor, … “financial difference ends up creating a behavioral difference. Poor people are better attuned to interpersonal relations…than the rich are, because they have to be.”
This interplay of power, money, and empathy becomes particularly troubling in contemporary economies marked by growing inequality. Goleman and others argue if those who earn more and therefore hold more power do not see (figuratively and literally) those who have less, reversing financial disparity becomes unlikely. As Goleman points out, “REDUCING THE ECONOMIC GAP MAY BE IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT ALSO ADDRESSING THE GAP IN EMPATHY” (emphasis mine)
The rich should care about a “diminished ability to experience the benefits of strong interpersonal relationships, which may be the most rewarding part of the human experience—even the secret to happiness… Humans are built to thrive in a community, and without it we are at increased risk of loneliness, which is harmful to one’s health, and can play a role in heart disease, depression, and even premature death. PRIVILEGE COMES AT A COST” (emphasis mine).