Sympathy and Antipathy– more than a feeling?

Colleen O’Connors has been a Waldorf teacher for more than 20 years. Originally from RI, she began teaching in Switzerland when her daughter was in kindergarten. Colleeen has a son at Meadowbrook and is currently our 5th grade teacher. Here she writes her reflections from the weekly, faculty study.

In Lecture 2 of Practical Advice to Teachers, Rudolf Steiner develops various aspects of language development and sets them in direct relationship to the two fundamental gestures of sympathy and antipathy, sometimes translated as affinity and aversion. It is very easy to limit the scope of these immense concepts to the familiar sentiments of our feeling life; setting sympathy equal to “I like it” and antipathy to “I don’t like it.” In order to understand what these two ideas have to do with the development of speech (and as we will see, in a wider sense with human development), we need to widen our sense of sympathy as that which unites us with the world, the power that overcomes all that separates us from the other Continue reading →