blue and white brick wall

The continuous lack of empathy and understanding in our society has placed a rift in the establishment and preservation of the relationships between citizens. The single story of judging people based on their demeanor and actions in school and failing to view the full picture of one’s life can be dangerous to the creation; or lack of relationships between classmates. This single story positions students in a place where they are judged unfairly on only one part of their lives.

    Empathy is needed in a relationship because it institutes respect and trust through our ability to distinguish and respond to other’s feelings. Alda states, “Compassion is feeling sorry for somebody, to some extent, but empathy is getting a reading as well as you can of what they’re going through, what they may be suffering from.” Empathy is an extension of compassion and is key to having a fulfilling relationship. It is also the ability to have the courage to share our feelings and thoughts with each other. Empathy goes beyond looking at things from another’s perspective. In fact, “It just means that considering certain aspects of the whole picture, you get a different conclusion” (Alda). By fully looking at one’s life and their circumstances, our perspective of them can change completely. For example, at Rosary my classmates only see one side of me, they are unable to observe my life outside of school. How I function and respond to different events in my life may make one of my classmates want to establish a relationship with me. Harris states, “‘And that’s something that’s necessary in local communities; it’s necessary in elementary schools, on a collegiate level and in a corporate boardroom.”’Empathy is needed to build respect in relationships in all areas of our lives. Not viewing the whole picture is dangerous because we are unable to institute connections with others that could be valuable later in our lives.

Works Cited 

“Alan Alda On The Importance of Empathy During The COVID-19 Pandemic.” NPR, NPR, 13 September 2020, www.npr.org/2020/09/13/912424799/alan-alda-on-the-importance-of-empathy-during-the-covid-19-pandemic. Accessed 14 October 2020. 

Burnett, John. “Stefan Harris – Vibraphonist, Educator, Thinker – Teaches Empathy From The Bandstand.” NPR, NPR, 30 March 2020, www.npr.org/2020/03/30/822024071/stefon-harris-vibraphonist-educator-thinker-teaches-empathy-from-the-bandstand. Accessed 14 October 2020. 

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3 Comments
  1. Josie 4 weeks ago

    Dear Emily, your post really interested me because it demonstrates the idea that empathy is needed to build healthy and strong relationships, something I think society needs to pay attention to as social media continues to grow. I think it is important to not pay attention to only one side of someone, as you said, or else it can be difficult to build strong relationships. One thing you said that stands out for me is “ By fully looking at one’s life and their circumstances, our perspective of them can change completely.” I think this is a very intelligent observation, and something that I do not really think about often. It is very interest to me that the way a person acts at home, with friends, at school, sports, etc., are all different, yet by looking at a person within all of these circumstances, our perspective of them can change. Your post reminds me of one of my favorite literary quotes of all time, given by Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Atticus tells his daughter Scout that “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view,” a lesson I believe is timeless and always relevant. I think your post demonstrates this same idea, that it is important to look at all the circumstances and try to see things from others points of view to understand them and limit prejudice that often happens from judging without understanding. Thanks for your project. I look forward to seeing what you write next because your post really reveals information that should be read by everyone because it will give them advice with building relationships. Your thoughts were very clear and well thought-out, and I hope to see another post from you again soon>

  2. Maya 4 weeks ago

    Emily, I loved how you presented this idea that empathy plays a major role in relationships because I, too, had said something similar in my blog post. Your introduction paragraph does a good job of leading your reader into your second paragraph. With that being said, I think you organized your thoughts well in this post and reading your blog was very easy because everything flowed. Another aspect I really liked is how you included a real life example of yourself, it helped the reader better understand what you were saying. After reading this, I believe this is a value I need to carry out more in my daily life!!

  3. Amarylis 4 weeks ago

    Dear Emily,
    I love your response and your ideas regarding the idea of a single story with students. You make your points very clear and understanding. I agree that it is difficult to see both sides to one person. We are very accustomed to keep a surface-level relationship with those we are not close to. I think more need to keep empathy in mind because they are not aware of how other react or what situations they are experiencing at home.

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