Brave Souls

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Brave Souls

What if empathy could save us?

Belinda Bauman was living a comfortable life as a wife, mother, and nonprofit leader—but her soul was checked out. Then she met Esperance. An assault survivor living in one of the poorest, most dangerous countries in the world, Esperance and other Congolese women shared their harrowing stories with Belinda. Their vulnerability set Belinda on a path of embracing empathy. If Esperance could love in the face of so much pain, maybe there is hope for the world too.

From the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to the borders of war-torn Syria, Belinda takes readers along her journey to empathy. With cutting-edge neuroscience, biblical parables, and stories of brave women from across the globe, she offers readers direction for seeing others’ perspectives, listening well, and redeeming conflict. She casts a vision for lives and communities transformed by everyday Christians practicing empathy as a spiritual discipline.

Join Belinda on a journey to be brave—and see your world changed.

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Excerpt

Empathy on the Decline

Many seem to have forgotten how to understand one another. One seminal study analyzed levels of empathy in more than fourteen thousand US college students over three decades. The results were alarming: a whopping 75 percent cared significantly less about others than the same demographic thirty years before. Studies also show that performance in the workplace correlates with empathy. Yet in a recent study, only 40 percent of “frontline leaders” were considered “proficient or strong” in empathy, with some saying they had “no time for empathy.”

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Advocate, Speaker, and Teacher Belinda Bauman

Belinda Bauman is the founder of One Million Thumbprints, a movement of peacemakers advocating with women in the world’s worst conflict zones. Belinda is also the founder of and the visionary behind #SilencelsNotSpiritual, a campaign calling churches to break the silence on violence against women.

Belinda is a speaker and contributor to Newsweek’s The Daily Beast, Red Tent Living, Huffington Post, and Christianity Today. Belinda completed a master’s in curriculum development at Covenant College and a certificate in lay trauma counseling from the Seattle School of Theology. Belinda and her husband, Stephan, and their two sons, Joshua and Caleb, live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Follow her on Twitter: @belindajbauman.

One Million Thumbprints (1 MT) is a grassroots campaign seeking to catalyze a groundswell of people focused on overcoming the effects of war against women through storytelling, advocacy, and fundraising. The volunteer peacemakers of One Million Thumbprints envision a world where women are free from the fear of violence, oppression, and poverty caused by war.

#SilencelsNotSpiritual is a call to action to the church to stop standing by and start standing up for women and girls who experience violence. Spearheaded by more than one hundred and fifty initial signatories, #SilencelsNotSpiritual reflects the collective voice of thousands of men and women across the global faith community. Thousands signed the statement within hours of its launch.

silenceisnotspiritual.org

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Brave Souls is challenging me to take big risks to love more, and I believe it will do the same for you. — Jamie D. Aten