I believe in Empathy

Hannah - Lamar, Indiana
Entered on May 2, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in having empathy for others.

My boyfriend, Donte, and I come from two different backgrounds. He grew up in a very liberal, low-income neighborhood in the city, whereas I grew up in a beautiful, middle-class home on the countryside. Donte was raised by his single mother, and I was adopted and raised by a mother and father.

Donte and I often get into heavy discussions on controversial issues such as pornography, violence in the media, religion, and abortion. Our different viewpoints sometimes cause us to bump heads like our most recent discussion on abortion. I was raised with a conservative viewpoint that abortion was never the answer to an unwanted pregnancy. This thought led me to believe that all people who were pro-choice were evil, and that they should be avoided. However, Donte’s home life as a child taught him that abortion was a practical answer in many cases. Especially if the woman had no support from her parents, and had no way of raising the child on her own.

That particular conversation helped me to think outside the box and look at life in another person’s shoes no matter what the issue is. I’ve learned in my nineteen years of living that people are too quick to judge, including myself. Because of the conversations Donte and I have had I have learned to give the benefit of the doubt to others. This doesn’t mean that I have to agree with what they do, but our discussions have taught me to be open-minded and to have empathy for others.