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Empathy

  • Date Submitted: 11/13/2011 10:27 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 66.2 
  • Words: 333
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What is empathy? Just another word in the dictionary? No! It is much more than that. What it is that separates us from other animals? It is our ability to think, reason, innovate and most importantly our values and ability to empathize with others. Without empathy we might as well be called animals for we shall be no better than them.

Empathy is not just parading around for a week with yellow ribbon on your shirt shouting “No bullying“. [As is the common practice during anti-bullying week.]   Nor is empathy making huge donations to NGO’s without giving a second thought to the poor people for whom you are donating money.   Empathy is feeling truly sorry for someone in trouble and trying to the best of your ability to help them.

From Harper Lee’s novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird” I quote Atticus Finch’s advice to young Scout Finch. ”You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” And this, my friends, “climbing into someone’s skin and walking around in it” is exactly what empathy means.

Empathy is to be practiced not only by the person cruelly ragging and insulting someone and gaining a sadistic joy at his expense, it is also to be practiced by the group of people standing around him and hooting and laughing at him, it is also to be practiced by the people who are just walking by this scene in the foyer or in the corridor and are doing nothing to stop it. Empathy my dear friends, is something that needs to be practiced by everyone.

So I ask you, all of you to show empathy to everyone in all walks of life. And as Scott Adams has said, “Remember, there is no such thing as a small act of kindness every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

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Malak Shah
10 – B
Jamnabai Narsee School

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