People each day are becoming more complacent about important issues in society. There is a lack of people willing to interrupt their own busy day to help others in need. Those who fail to have sympathy for others ultimately ignore the possibility that one day it could be herself in such a predicament. Therefore, people need to find courage and compassion to reach out and be an advocate for others instead of a “that’s not my problem” mentality. For example, in the article(, “Empathy is a cornerstone of human behavior and has long been considered innate. A forthcoming study, however, challenges this assumption by demonstrating that empathy levels have been declining over the past 30 years.” Ultimately, Americans are starting to explore the vast and ever changing journey of life, alone. People no longer converse with the person sitting next to them on planes or are able to hold conversations without pulling out their device.

In addition, due to the decrease in people’s ability to empathize with others, there is a rising number of people who are indulging in different types of information. Consequently, people are finding themselves neglecting to read as much. In fact, according to the same article mentioned above, the “number of adults who read literature for pleasure sank below 50 percent for the first time ever in the past 10 years, with the decrease occurring most sharply among college-age adults”. In addition, it is thought that empathy is linked to reading. Studies show, the people that read more fiction books, the more empathetic they are. I found this to be quite inspiring because it is necessary to shift the focus of education to center more around reading which will hopefully encourage more empathy to circulate within our society today.

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December 11, 2017 6:06 pm

the way you took this piece was very interesting. I has no idea that reading could be linked to empathy and the more fictional books someone reads the more empathetic they are. It makes sense though, you learn from the things you reader experience; so if a character in a novel is empathetic it is more likely for someone reading it to act in a similar way when faced with a similar situation. Book and literature really serve as a model for us, whether it be “brave new world” telling us to be careful or our society will turn out this way to “the power of one” that serves as a coming of age novel. I think when we read we are able to be more connected with the characters than if we watch an actor portray someone in a movie. I found this extremely interesting, thanks for posting.

December 8, 2017 3:52 pm

Hailey, you took this down a path I didn’t expect, and I loved it. Who knew reading fiction was beneficial. “When we read about other people, we can imagine ourselves into their position and we can imagine it’s like being that person…That enables us to better understand people, better cooperate with them.” ( It makes sense actually. Gut wrenching stories cause me to cry, even if they aren’t actually all that sad. I connect more with book characters than movie characters, which I think is interesting. Is it because you aren’t actively moving the story forward by reading it? I’m not sure, but this whole thing is interesting, so thank you for posting!

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