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The Silvertip

The Student News Site of Mission Hills High School

The Silvertip

The Student News Site of Mission Hills High School

The Silvertip

What Does it Mean to be Empathetic (feat. Sociology Teacher Ms. McKinney)

Sociology+is+deeply+rooted+in+being+able+to+process+and+use+empathy.+In+this+study%2C+its+common+practice+to+be+able+to+set+aside+your+biases+and+understand+the+struggles+and+thought+processes+of+others.+I+personally+prefer+the+more+classical+definition+of+empathy%2C+rather+than+the+more+interpretive+version.+Basically+the+ability+to+understand+and+sympathize+with+others.+senior+Jacob+Lawrence+says
Photo by Zaera Beltran
Sociology is deeply rooted in being able to process and use empathy. In this study, it’s common practice to be able to set aside your biases and understand the struggles and thought processes of others. “I personally prefer the more classical definition of empathy, rather than the more interpretive version. Basically the ability to understand and sympathize with others.” senior Jacob Lawrence says

Empathy is a common term to be thrown around, mostly associated with good willed individuals, although the meaning ends up blurred by common decency over real understanding of another person’s feelings or experiences. With a blurred view of what empathy is, could it be that the very concept is starting to be lost in our current society so focused on hyper-individualism?
“What does empathy mean to you? Empathy to me is all about seeing people where they are. All of us move through life so differently, and everyone has a unique and different existence. I think it is very important to see people through the lens of their existence, not mine. If I want to truly understand someone, the best thing I can do is try and sit in their shoes and feel their experience and understand them that way, I think that is empathy.” sociology teacher Ms. McKinney said when asked what empathy means to her.
There are over eight billion people on this planet, think about how your life is now, everything you’ve gone through, then forget that. Eight billion other lives with more stories, experiences and troubles that may be on par or more stressful than what you have ever been through. So understanding the world around you will end up proving you good when it comes to your view on the people that you interact or pass in your day to day life.
“Is empathy learned or taught? I think a lot of us are born more empathetic than others, just like some are born with more IQ, others can be born with more EQ, or emotional intelligence. I think you can teach empathy, but the learner has to want to learn it.” Ms. McKinney continues.
There is a belief that we are all born good people, although in this situation it’s different in the sense that this involves mental maturity along with the will power of being able to comprehend others emotions. McKinney’s view is a very logical approach to the idea of empathy, a way in which life is exactly as we perceive it, all we have to do is learn about it. Although, others are entitled to their own philosophies on what it means
“I think in today’s world, we have more information, more news, more songs, more content, more of everything to consume and move through, that people forget to slow down and see people, really see them. we shorten everything in life to bits, clips, reels, and slang language, instead of really knowing, feeling, or experiencing emotion in life. I think people are (hopefully doing the best they can) to adjust to this crazy time in life. But I do think so many people are trying to survive the exhaustion and overstimulation of modern life, that empathy can be forgotten. It’s when we slow down and return to a state of human BEING, instead of human doing, that we can sit and feel, and practice empathy for those around us.”

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About the Contributor
Zaera Beltran
Zaera Beltran, Staff Writer
(She/her) Zaera is a junior with an aspiring dream to become a published author in her first year of Journalism. She has been working on two works for the last two years, and hopes to finish her first one and publish it by the time she turns 18. Zaera is taking journalism to help improve her writing journey, and she also takes sociology and psychology to apply to her more realistic writing, but also because she takes joy in learning about it. She currently balances school, writing, work, and dance on an everyday basis, and hopes to reach her success as an author in the future.

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