Empathy for AIG
The Washington Post reports of how a teacher at a 4th grade class taught them to be empathic for AIG employees:
“What if you were an AIG employee?” she asked. Imagine if you had not been involved in the deals that ruined the company but were left to clean up the mess. What if you had to pay back money you felt you had earned? What if your family had received death threats?
Empathy is fleeting in fourth-graders, so the teacher embraced it. She broke out crayons and paper.
The children adorned their messages with peace symbols and smiley faces, rainbows and vivid red hearts. “Hi AIG. Not all of USA hates you,” wrote one student. “We know you’re not villains,” wrote another. “Keep working hard, dudes! Keep eating your vegatabos!” advised a third.
Chapman mailed the nearly 30 cards from her school to the outcasts of the financial world at AIG. (She requested that The Washington Post not identify the school, worried that the gesture might attract some of the ugly phone calls and threats that have been visited upon AIG.)
The cards now hang in the lunchrooms at the firm’s offices in Connecticut and London.
In some sense it’s true. Not all employees were responsible for AIG’s sorry state. Certainly those who received bonuses and refused to give them back would rightly incur the wrath of the taxpayers. But in a mob mentality, it’s hard to differentiate.