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Empathy – The highest form of knowledge

by 高莫娜 Mona

Aristotle quoted that “educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”. What did he mean by educating the heart?
In our world where human rights are challenged every now and then, innocent killing of harmless human beings is becoming a norm. In this situation where hundreds of people carry on with their normal lives, few of them become activists, fight for the deprived souls, try to get them their rights, do protests, and even take bullets for them. This example is on a bigger scale, if we look into our daily lives, people go to extra lengths to help the other person in need. We have seen little kids wiping the tears of strangers, feeding their own food to starving people and even giving away their warm clothes to the shivering outsiders.
This ability of being sensitive to understand and share the feelings of another is empathy. Alfred Adler quoted that “Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.”
Researchers have done many social experiments recently, where they plant their chosen people in certain troublesome situations and watch the reactions of people in their surroundings. In one social experiment, PMC published an article about
Children’s Empathy and Their Perception and Evaluation of Facial Pain Expression. Results from experiment indicated that children aged 5 and 6 could search for painful facial expression faster than for angry, happy and sad expressions. 

Empathy is the necessity of existing world and vital element for Emotional Intelligence. It is our care for each other which make us a human being. As parents and teachers it is our moral responsibility to aware our children of human sufferings and should encourage them to lend a hand to anyone who is in need. And to make them achieve this target, we have to be their role models. We need to show our kids how to be a global citizen, helping people regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, borders and social placement. Through empathy we can promote diversity and can understand, accept and respect different perspectives.

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