CHAPTER 4

FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Empathy Questions

I SAT DOWN WITH four young moms. They arranged themselves in a semicircle so we could all see each other. They were polite, soft-spoken, nicely dressed, and anxious to talk about themselves and their children. A diverse group—black and white and Hispanic—all of them were single moms and receiving some form of public assistance.

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I was there to do a story for CNN on welfare reform from the perspective of those receiving the benefits—the people we don’t hear from very often, the people we talk about, but seldom with. I wanted to hear about their lives and explore with them how the proposed changes would affect them. The welfare reform law, known formally as the Personal Responsibility and Work ...

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