The danger of a single story taught me how only telling one side of the story can affect how we think or perceive someone or something. An example from a single story would be when Adichie’s roommate asked her if she could hear her tribal music. Her roommate had a single story of her and a single story of Africa. Her roommate had a default position towards her. Their relationship started with Adiche’s roommate feeling pity towards her even before seeing her. It had not occurred to her that there was a possibility of Africans being similar to her in any way. Adichie’s roomate could not understand her completely, she thought she understood her through her own set opinion or view of Adichie. “Empathy is essentially the science of understanding, ” is what Stefon Harris says. In his Ted Talk he gave a musical presentation and talked about how his music wouldn’t work if he bullied his ideas onto his fellow musicians. He said the science of listening had  far more to do with what  I can perceive than what it is I can do.”(Burnett). He mentioned you had to be patient, listen, and pull from what is going on around you to engage  and inspire others. When you do that they give you more, allow creativity to flow,  accept one another, and their ideas.

It didn’t occur to me before that even through music you could teach and make others understand empathy. This shows even in music how relationships work better having empathy and understanding for one another. The music flows, their ideas are shown, and accepted when empathy is shown towards each other. “Empathy is a necessary precursor to intimacy, trust, and belonging. It is also the feeling that makes it difficult to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others” (Capenter). This mechanism of empathy plays a substantial role in relationships to make them work properly.

Works Cited

Burnett, John. “Stefon Harris – Vibraphonist, Educator, Thinker – Teaches Empathy From The Bandstand.” NPR, NPR, 30 Mar. 2020, 

Carpenter, Derrick. “3 Ways to Build Real Empathy for Others in Your Life.” Verywell Mind,


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