Connective Writing #1
Perspectives of Empathy
In the first couple of days of class, perspectives of empathy from a liberal arts view and a neuroscientific view were examined. Although only two forms of empathy were discussed, there are many other ways to be empathetic towards someone or something. Learning about the liberal arts perspective on empathy was interesting because I have friends who do not “know how to think”. As a student at a liberal arts college, I already believe that I live life to the fullest by understanding what is going on around me and choosing not to be so self-centered. Compared to my friends’ every day lives, I feel like I enjoy life more than they do since they become frustrated with the simplest situations life throws at us. Of course, sometimes I am frustrated with people, but my friends seem to be much more negative towards people they do not even know. Listening to my friends complain about the littlest things grows on me much faster since we discussed “how we should think” and “how we should not think”. Another empathy perspective we talked about in class was the neuroscientific perspective. This perspective on empathy is almost like my neurons adopting someone else’s neurons. My neurons in my brain recall actions others have done before, and allow me to predict peoples actions and feelings. If I watch another person being touched on the arm, I do not actually feel them being touched, but my neurons empathize with the person being touched. To be able to physically feel the other person being touched, I can numb my own arm and physically feel the other person being touched. By removing my arm, we are taking away the barrier between the other person’s neurons and my neurons. The neurons in our brains connect with humans; therefore, we are able to feel empathy for one another. The ability to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” as some would say is extremely difficult sometimes and can result in making...