Terrific, thoughtful speech. Two passages that spoke directly to teaching:
One, the section about hospitals as truly mixed spaces could be said about many schools as well. This “vantage point” not only fosters empathy but also democratic possibilities; it is within these spaces that we can see and feel difference and commonalities. Schools ought to be capitalizing on this (the best ones do) especially in the world of non-trusting bubbles he describes in the next paragraph.
Two, the section about curiosity leading to empathy made me sit up in my chair. I’ve long maintained that teachers need two things — curiosity and humility — but Gawande underscores the necessity of curiosity for empathy. You can’t empathize with anyone if you don’t care about them and aren’t thinking about their view of things. And you can’t develop empathy if you’re not at least somewhat curious about why people do what they do.