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Is Empathy Knowledge?

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In our daily lives, we come across many connections with problems, circumstances, or situations. With this, there comes the empathy that not only allows us to understand and share the same feelings, but also understands that human beings are meant to face any and all kinds of emotions and feelings. But can we teach empathy? For example, in businesses, schools, and various non-governmental organisations, the answer to the above question is: ‘Yes.’ In order to read people, their feelings, their actions, or words, what is essentially required is to identify the feelings with the words. Empathy is big and should be considered foremost as a chance to embrace everyday life.

Fear – a trauma

One of the company’s big tycoons says: ‘If you have no ability to empathise, then it’s difficult to convey feedback, and help people improve.’ Our brains are wired poorly in the hyper-social and interconnected world. We may avoid certain people or certain subjects to be a perfectionist and make sure nothing is wrong. We may be self-obsessed with thoughts like: ‘You’re not good enough’ or ‘Who do you think you are?’ I feel it is one way to manifest courtesy, not just with politeness, but actually anticipating the needs and meeting them beforehand.

Desire or skill

In the education system, the importance of empathy must be taught critically to help the students and people learn to think. It may sound strange and some may disagree, but it can pay enormous dividends in their professional lives. Similarly in medical sciences, many scientists and doctors see this as an overlooked skill. Sympathy is defined as some sort of feeling sorry for another, whereas empathy purports to know and conveys understanding along with the desire to help someone in need.

Vicious cycle

Traditionally, empathy may be a good manner considered less important but, in the burgeoning world, it is an essential ingredient for developing trust in relationships. Research studies reveal that it is characterised as a cognitive attribute and not a personal trait. It gives back the love as feedback from those who receive empathy. Some political leaders may not want to see it. 

Safe and easy

Words are really hard sometimes. Many times, we may go wrong when someone asks for help and, although we try our best to assist, our help is not welcomed or further exchanges are avoided. Being a human, it is understandable to vent our emotions. The very culture of supporting communication, positive reaction towards failures, asking stupid questions, and effortlessly sharing knowledge is healthy.

Supreme vulnerability

Empathy is like a cultural moment to listen and not to impose and dictate, rather be humble to learn how to walk in the footsteps of others. Sometimes we may feel afraid while doing something in a strange environment which thus makes us vulnerable. I believe it is a difference between human and artificial intelligence – unsaid, unarticulated, and emotional. It acts as a lubricant to extend the feelings out of their own boundaries and see what and how others are feeling and experiencing, and thus overcome the differences.

Jashan Jot Kaur is a researcher at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.

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