Hello, My name is Yao. One of the problems society is facing currently is the division among people. There are Red vs. Blue, white vs. black, men vs. women, and coastal people vs. mid-westerners. To heal, we need to have the ability to look at things from other people’s perspective, and that is called empathy. As I am Chinese, I was taught Confucian philosophy in schools. Although I could not remember all those proverbs, one of the sayings did leave a deep imprint on my mind and I have been following it. It said, “Whatever you don’t like, don’t do to others.” To illustrate, it could be as simple as: I don’t like my money to be stolen, so I don’t steal from others; I don’t like to be yelled at, so I don’t yell at others; or, I don’t like to be hurt, so I don’t hurt people. I don’t like to be isolated, so I don’t isolate others. This is exactly what “empathetic” implies. In addition to feeling what others are experiencing from their positions, we should not do anything to hurt them. The same philosophy could be applied to many social issues we are facing now.
For example, there is a movement in society right now known as #MeToo. I don’t believe that any man could tolerate if his mother, sister, wife or daughter was sexually harassed by another person. So why do this to another woman? Also, there is the need for gun control. The most devastating feeling a person might have is the tragic loss of someone she or he loves. The last example is the separation of parents and children at our Southern border with Mexico. If given a choice, no one would want to get separated from his or her families. Although illegal immigration is a very complicated issue, it should be treated with humanity and dignity. After all, family is the most important things in the world. No one should be separated from their families.
To be empathetic is not only to be able to understand others’ feelings; it also requires us to respect them. If we could think from others’ point of view first, the chance for us to engage in any activity that might harm them will be decreased significantly. I strongly believe that if we all develop a more empathetic outlook, it will lead to a harmonious society.