It may seem simplistic, but if we ever hope to address the issues facing our times, what we urgently need is not more emotional empathy, but cognitive empathy. This is a tool of thought and deliberation that can help us to perceive and process our worlds ‘otherwise’. And yet, despite its great promise, we still seem to struggle in engaging in this spirit of care and attention. What principles can keep us from imploding further into impenetrable echo-chambers void of the symbolism, languages, and challenging issues beyond them? We need to welcome, as is often said, a tension between opposites—or seeing through both the micro and macro, context and meaning, virtue and vice, or one and other. These types of conflicting vantages, or how individuals and groups explore ‘other’ identities and behaviours have vexed us for thousands of years. But for this very reason, they are the questions we expect art to explore, and it’s because of these questions that it remains essential to our self and civic wellbeing. Building the cognitive tools of empathy can foster the courage and resilience to open us to the vast references and influences ‘of Other’ thought, despite the many discomforts it may hold. It’s often been argued that without notions of discomfort, there is no hope for higher learning. If we still believe we can solve the issues facing our times, awakening our empathic (and conflicting) modes of perception might be among the most significant paths forward, and art can be a vital tool in this task of learning. Perhaps the key to it all lies in the paradox that real learning requires a humility to recognize that one still has something to learn. Holding up the mirrors to our behaviours and intentions, or simply seeing ourselves ‘otherwise’ has undoubtedly become my first step toward this.