Empathy

Jamie - Logan, Utah
Entered on December 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

One value that I feel is very important to my life is the ability to feel empathy towards other people. The reason I believe this is important in my life is because the decisions I make will often not only effect me, but the people around me as well. Many people say to do whatever makes you happy, but the problem with this is that it can often make other people unhappy.

When I was fifteen years old I learned that the decisions other people made often influenced my life. My parents had decided to get a divorce because my mom had started seeing another man. During the custody battle, I often wondered if my mother had considered how I would feel when she met the new man. If my mom had thought of my brother or I, would she have acted different? After everything was finished I agreed to live with my dad so I could finish my education at the same school. I would visit my mom on the weekends at her new house, but things between us would never be the same. As time went by I soon forgave her and was able to understand that she was unhappy and had found happiness with another man.

This value has also helped at my job working with the elderly. When I become frustrated with an elderly resident I try to imagine how they are feeling. It would be very hard to not remember what you did the day before or even what kind of food you like to eat. This has given me a lot of patience because I’m able to understand how they are feeling

My relationships with my friends and family are great because of my ability to feel empathy towards people. When I get in a fight with my boyfriend I’m able to see his side which makes communication a lot of easier. The hardest part isn’t being able to feel how the other person is feeling, but to be able to admit when you’re wrong. Feeling empathy is useless unless the person is able to understand that they are not always right.

This is important in my life because it makes me a better, friend, daughter, and girlfriend. While growing up it’s hard to think of anyone but yourself, but after awhile you begin to see that even small decisions can have a large impact on the people around us.