How do people empathize with others who they do not have anything in common with? Such as Erica in chapter 7, one can empathize with her childhood without even knowing her or having similar life experiences.
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I think it is in our nature to recognize hardship. I think thats why empathy is as powerful as it is. For example, I have never experienced first-hand the struggles of being an adolescent homosexual in American society, however, I can feel for their trouble because I can recognize how hard it can potential be in American culture. I do not need that experience to know it is unfortunate. I would argue that all humans are capable of this recognition, this is apparent with the connections made in the social animal. It goes to expose our social responsibilities, it is in our nature to care. That said, how do we begin to explain those who we feel do not express empathy?
I feel that the human race, as a whole is capable of expressing empathy to each other, even if unrelated, because they put themselves in those shoes. Like Jack said, he is not a homosexual in American society yet he can see their pain and hardship and know that this is not as easy as it could be. I feel that some people can feel empathy for someone else because they imagine themselves or someone they love in that situation. No one wants to feel unwanted or have any pain in their life, but everyone knows what pain feels like and they empathize with those who feel pain at this moment.
Humans are of course social animals at our core, and thus we develop empathy. We can all relate to hardships, pain, and loss. We have all experienced that in some way. We may not have been a certain situation like losing a child but yet, everybody can feel sad because of that. We can imagine ourselves in their situation and we can begin to understand their feelings. Of course there are people who do not experience empathy however they would be sociopaths and psychopaths. Mostly all humans can relate to one another in some way.
Feelings are more universal than experiences, which is why humans can empathize with one another without sharing similar life experiences. For example, one person could face abandonment when their mother and/or father leaves them after a painful separation. Another person could experience the same feeling when their significant other passes away. By listening to one another’s stories, the two could place their own experience of the emotion into their inverse story.
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