Thursday, September 25, 2014
Empathy and Equality
If you think about it each person lives in their own little circles. My circle is I wake up, take the bus to school, play volleyball, go home, and then go to sleep. Throughout my day though my circle overlaps with other peoples circles who's lives are similar to mine like family, religion, social groups, and so on. So when theres a part of life that doesn't fall within your personal circle its hard to think about but thats empathy. Its the ability to feel for someone else despite it not directly effecting you. According to Jeremy Rifkin, to the problem with society is a lack of empathy. We don't care enough about the person standing next to us to be driven to help them let alone a person in Syria or Sri Lanka that we've never met before. Jeremy Rifkin says that our goal should be to extend our empathy to the entire human race. I would hope this could be possible but I think its too idealistic. There will always be the people that care too much and the people that hardly are at all. Yet I think we can all stand to be more empathetic. Through empathy we can fix a majority of the issues pressing in on our society. When we listed issues in class we got results of sexual assault, gender equality, education, health care, illness, terrorism, disease, mental illness, super patriotism, lack of kindness, Russia and the Ukraine, Syria, and so many other topics we discussed that i can't even remember. Many of the issues we stated were weaved together to the point where by fixing one you may fix another while at the same time creating a new issue all by itself. While thinking that every problem facing our society can be solved is simply idealistic, I think we can solve a majority simply by thinking of people as people. Many problems are caused by viewing others as different or even inferior. But when you remove labels and classifications you are left with just a person. A person with a family, dreams, insecurities, and most likely struggling with the same kind of things you are. When you take away the things that group us together you also take away the fictions that keep us apart. One big issue is gender equality. Literally the only reason people believe genders are so different is because the only see the stereotypes and the fictitious differences that keep us apart. Take away gender and you are left with simply a person. Certain cultures view women as inferior simply because they've been told that women are inferior. However if you look at someone as a person instead of as their labels you don't see female, black, baptist you see charismatic, well read, and loyal. War too can be solved with empathy. There is a difference between civilians and soldiers in war but why. A gun? No they're still people. Society sees statistics as numbers. We've grown up in a world where war statistics are broadcasted over family dinner to the point where they're just numbers and lists of names without any real meaning. It doesn't invoke any true emotion. With empathy though we think before we shoot. Even more empathy can help get rid of the reason to shoot. Empathy makes it so religion or race or even nationality don't really matter because they're people just like everybody else. I don't think its possible for every single person on earth to be completely empathetic but society as a whole needs to increase our empathy in order to create a world of equality and to help solve the pressing issues that we face. We just have to see people, as people.