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The Power of Empathy

By: Ethan Hu

Have you ever found yourself judging someone based on something they did? Subsequently, did you find yourself then wondering why he or she did that? Often many people do not consider the “why” behind a person’s actions and this leads to many misunderstandings. For example, if someone knocked over your cup of coffee without as much as a glance, you would probably have some misgivings about him. However, if you knew that he was jobless for 6 months and rushing to his next interview, perhaps you would be more lenient with your judgement.

Oxford English Dictionary defines empathy as “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” The ability to empathize with another person, I believe, is the key to fixing many failing relationships. Any relationship, whether it’s parent and child or teacher and student can become broken due to a failure of communication. Empathy is the way one party can understand why the other party did what they did. Through this, people are able to become more forgivable. So the next time someone does something to you, stop for a moment and think of why they did that. Only through stepping into someone else’s shoes can we strengthen and maintain our relationships.

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