Thank you Mrs. Liu
The following introduction of Eric Liu, (no relation to Long Island University ) along with the photograph are taken from the
C-Span web page at

Eric Liu is the Host of “Seattle Voices” on the Seattle Channel where he interviews Seattle based guests from diverse backgrounds and is the author of a new book called “Guiding Lights,” about people who have inspired and influenced his life.

Jerry Garfunkel:  I had the good fortune to be watching C-Span, Q & A, when Brian Lamb was interviewing  Eric Liu  January 23, 2005.   In that broadcast Mr. Liu talked of the influence that his mother had in his life.   The advice from his mother expressed so well the philosophy behind my passion for multicultural education.  Intrinsic to Mr. Liu's (and his mother's) philosophy is the recognition that we are all citizens of the plannet, of the universe, of humanity. And while each of us is an individual on the plannet we are also part of a community that is bigger than us.  There is an interdependency, incredibly complex, involving everyone and everything on the plannet, in the universe, every part of humanity.  As such we owe respect to everyone and everything at least to reflect on others' points of view. See things through the "eyes" of other people, other things. Just as we impact other people, other people impact us.  Just as we impact our environment, our environment impacts us. The chief benefit of multicultural educational is to expose our children to points of view that might otherwise be too distant, too remote to observe or understand , yet alone to empathize with.  With this in my mind I listened to Mr. Liu describe his wise mother and the values she instilled in her son.
Below is a small portion of that interview pertaining to the value of critical thinking from multiple perspectives. In this portion of the interview Mr. Lamb has just asked Mr. Liu to please explain what he (Liu) meant by "thinking from an animal's point of view." 
A full transcript of the Lamb/Liu interview on C-Span's Q&A broadcast, can be found at the C-Span web site at:  In addition a video of this Q&A broadcast - the Lamb/Liu interview  - is hyperlinked from that same web page.  It's worth the read and the listen and the watch.

Please note that the highlighting below is mine (JG) - not part of the original transcript.
Jerome Garfunkel

Lamb / Liu

LAMB: Explain the third one, which is think from an animal's point of view .

LIU: This is a great one of my mom's. And a good example as well of, you know, what we were talking about earlier, her great creation of idiom. It's actually think from an animal's point of view and it's about this sense that as I move in the world, and I like to go out there and engage with people and share ideas and do this kind of stuff, whether it's through politics or writing or the media or what have you, but then a lot of that is about me, broadcasting out to other people.

  And one of the casualties of that kind of mindset and way of being is not only your ability to listen, but I think your willingness to step into somebody else's shoes and to really sustain that capacity for empathy.

  And so in different situations where I might, you know, in my work in politics or in trying to do a book or whatever, I might get frustrated with somebody else or I might get upset that things aren't moving the way I want them to move and it seems to make perfect sense to me that this is how things ought to align because, well, I've been thinking about this and this is the way it ought to be.

  You know, she has this refrain that just, you know, you need Eric to stop and think from somebody else's point of view. Think from another person's point of view. Think from their family's point of view. Think from their organization's point of view. Think from, and then she just started on this rift, you know, think from the tree's point of view, think from the building's point of view, think from an animal's point of view.

  And just this notion, I wasn't raised in a particularly spiritual sense of Zen or anything like that, but there turns out to be a certain, you know, aspect of that here about detaching from a self and recognizing when you do that, that not only that you have compassion for how other people experience what seems obvious to you, but it isn't necessarily obvious to them.

  But also that you develop this capacity to listen, a deep full-body listen, and I think that carries into - I try to carry that into my life. I think it's something that when you think about politics and public leadership is what's sorely missing in a lot of ways, is that capacity to listen, to lead people and to think from other people's points of view.

Jerry Garfunkel:  I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Liu.  My passion for applying technology to help students become better citizens of the plannet stems from this philosophy.  Now we have the technology to actually do something about people hearing and listening to each other.  We have the capacity to connect nearly everyone in the world with nearly everyone else in the world.  We have a great opportunity to change the playing field of competition of ideas and perhaps someday competition over territory.  The new global communications capabilities which are in their infancy right now, will profoundly affect how people on the plannet - everywhere - appreciate each other and ultimately deal with each other.  Thank  you Mrs. Liu.

© 2005, Jerome Garfunkel ..... 172 Tinker Street ..... Woodstock, NY .... 12498 .... Tel/Fax +1 845 679 0770 ..... .....