Last week a few HuffPost editors and I were treated to a visit by Bill Drayton and Mary Gordon. Bill Drayton is the founder of Ashoka and a longtime champion of social entrepreneurship, a term that he coined and that has now spread across the world. Mary Gordon is a former kindergarten teacher who founded Roots of Empathy, an organization dedicated to teaching emotional literacy and promoting empathy in children. As Mary told us, empathy is a two-way street and is best nurtured by example. Philosophers have known this for centuries. "No one can live happily who has regard for himself alone and transforms everything into a question of his own utility," wrote the first-century Stoic philosopher Seneca. And in practically every religious tradition and practice, giving of oneself is a key step on the path to spiritual fulfillment.
It's been more than a decade since oxytocin was first heralded as the "hormone of love" -- a distinction that came with optimistic predictions for future drug therapies. The question now is not whether oxytocin has beneficial effects, but under what circumstances and for whom does it have these effects?
I recently had a client I'll call Sandy, who loved a man named Jeff. Yet they had broken up at least three times during the two and a half years they'd been together. While apart, an intense longing for the other would occur and they'd come back together celebrating a harmonious honeymoon truce with a lot of love and a lot of sex. But it wouldn't take long for the problems to reappear.