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Blog #2 Empathy

Empathy... Is it natured or neutered ? 


What does it mean to have Empathy?

 

   When one has empathy, it allows one to share and understand the feelings of another. It allows one to think before speaking and to chose words that construct as opposed to deconstruct. 


The question is... is empathy a learned behavior or are people born with this cognitive/emotional response?


How does one determine if empathy is an emotion one exhibits? Ponder this...


  Do you immediately become infuriated when a total stranger whom you have never laid eyes upon nor uttered a mumbling word to... loses a child to a hate crime? 

   Do you immediately begin forming a river with tiny streams of tears or birthing a movement of change when an innocent being becomes incarcerated because he is considered a threat to the entire world? 


   What happens when you read books like Chains and you're introduced to the prospective of a 13 year old slave named Isabel? Does it spark emotions of intolerance or sorrow? 


   What about when you read books like the Saints and Misfits. Does it make you think twice about how you treat people who are of a different culture and have contrary beliefs?


   How about when you read a book like Stone Girl that entails a protagonist named Sophie who becomes a ward of the state and endures the unimaginable? Does it evoke a spirit of advocacy that makes you want to help orphans,
the homeless, foster kids, and even battered women? 


   Again I ask... Is Empathy Natured or Neutered? Is it learned or innate? 

Either way, books help readers develop empathy for others, and we should all be reading good books!  

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