Thursday, February 25, 2016

Can You Teach Empathy?

Personally, I think that if you star "teaching" empathy at a young age, then yes it can be taught. The article "Can You Teach People to Have Empathy" tells how "listening out for people's feeling and needs... gives them a sense of being understood"(Radical Listening, 3). I expect this to be true. When I am venting to someone; whether it be my friends or family, and I know they are listening, I have a sense of being acknowledged. "According to the latest neuroscience research, 98% of people have the ability to empathize wired into their brains- an in-built capacity for stepping into the shoes of others and understanding their feelings and perspectives"( page 1). This clearly states that when you are born you can already process empathy and peoples emotions. Therefor, it only takes a little bit of teaching for you to access that part of your brain.

"We learn empathy through stories and people coming into our lives and saying stop for a second and think about what it is like to be someone else in this situation; stop and try to imagine that person's life for a moment"(Bystander Revolution: John Green). A lot of kids learn empathy through child book situations and take that to apply it to their own life. Children learn best with examples and what best way to teach a child about empathy through a story that will stay with them.

Conquerable Mental Illness

People with mental illness are all around us. Even in your favorite television show. In the show, Stitchers, Kirsten Clark "stitches" into the mind of the deceased and finds out how they died; if there was anything that seemed off with that person's death. Kirsten has temporal dysplasia. This means she can not process time. Kirsten's temporal dysplasia makes her perfect for the job however. This illness normally leaves people who suffer it, unable to show emotion. They can not feel fear, misery, friendship, or love; basically any emotion drawn from the passage of time. All of these side affects describes Kirsten exactly. However, she is able to do something great because of her disability. She solves many cases and put's innocent citizen's souls to rest. Through the show, Kirsten learns how to feel emotion with the help of her friends. She overcomes some of the side affects of temporal dysplasia and in the process, leaves a positive stamp on society. Without her cold murderers would be free from punishment.