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Why Empathy Is Important - An Awareness Article by S

Updated on April 15, 2012

Treating others how you want to be treated is fair and right, and it's easier to do this when you empathise with others. Understanding others helps you understand the big picture and look beyond stereotypes.

For instance, many people look at the homeless and immediately think such a person is bad, lazy, and completely responsible for their situation. Hypothetically speaking, that individual may have no family, friends, or other form of support, and this in fact may have realistically constituted their now homeless state. It is hard and often well nigh impossible to get ahead without support and love of some kind, preferably both. In the reverse, wealthy people could also be thought of as having had everything handed to them, even if, in reality, they had worked hard to get it. Nobody likes to be judged or stereotyped.

Empathy can help a person be compassionate towards others as well as get along better with others, like family members, coworkers, and friends, even those with differing views. When you put yourself in another person's shoes, it not only allows you to understand them better and change the way you react and deal with them, but also increase your patience and lower your blood pressure, allowing a more positive reaction. This can also allow you to avoid possible potentially fatal situations when dealing with bad people. It could save lives.

Detectives use empathy to help solve crimes as well as protect themselves and others. They strive to see what motivates criminals to carry out their heinous acts, and also to understand what the victims went through to piece together the mystery.

Selfishness nowadays is all too common. When everyone is only ever out for themselves, society as a whole can't advance and move forward. This also happens to be one of the reasons why the economy has gone downhill. Many sticks together are stronger than one. We are, all of us, stronger together than apart and a broader understanding of empathy would only make our lives and the community better.

We, all of us, are connected, in some way, under God. Like ripples in a pond, our every action affects our own lives as well as others.

- S.


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    • Christopher Dapo profile image

      Christopher Dapo and S. 5 years ago from Havelock, NC

      I admire your brother's determination in living on his own, Deborah. It couldn't have been easy. I think it's cool that you understood and supported your brother and his decisions. Thank you for your comment, it's great talking to you, Deborah.

      - S.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 5 years ago from Iowa

      This is a really important reminder to put yourself in someone else's shoes instead of automatically jumping to conclusions about them. My brother was homeless for a short period of time, and not because he was bad or lazy or irresponsible. He and his wife split up and he had to move out of the house because her father owned it, but he couldn't afford to buy a place of his own and couldn't find a rental that would allow his dog. He was too proud to move in with family, so he chose to live in his camper until he was able to find a house. His other option would have been to give up his dog and that's the only reason why he was homeless.

    • Christopher Dapo profile image

      Christopher Dapo and S. 5 years ago from Havelock, NC

      Thank you for reading and commenting, HSchneider. The compliment, though, goes to S. for writing this one. Yes, S. sure knows their stuff on this! I couldn't be happier helping S. publish their Awareness Articles up here; like myself, they are intent on creating a difference with the writing they do and we will continue to try and raise awareness through our articles.

      - Christopher

      Thank you very much, HSchneider, you are correct in your statement that others could do a world of difference if they brought some empathy into their and other's lives. Your compliment is much appreciated, too.

      - S.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 5 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I totally agree with you, Christopher. Developing empathy for others and other groups is a key in defeating prejudice and bigotry. Great Hub.