Empathy

Michael - Sugar Land, Texas
Entered on February 27, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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“Have you ever thought about how other people felt?” As a young boy, I didn’t care how people felt when I said rude sentences to them. Almost everyone I met I would say something that would insult them. Some people took what I said very seriously and scolded me. Others didn’t take it as seriously. Those people would laugh because they knew that I didn’t mean what I said. I lived like that until I became 6.

During my birthday party, Bedo, my dad, asked me what I wanted for a present. I told my dad to go grab a video game that seemed fun. He quickly went to Blockbuster and came back with a game. I dully stared at it. All my life people taught me to never judge a book by its cover, but I ignored it this time. The entire time I stared at the game I wondered why anyone would want to play it. It looked like the worst game in the world. I told my dad to go back to Blockbuster and get another game. Sadly, I didn’t know I said a rude sentence. Without saying a word, my dad went back to Blockbuster and came back with a game that looked much better than the original. I started playing and enjoyed it for the rest of my birthday, and about a week after that, I started feeling a weird emotion.

I never felt an emotion like this before. I felt sad because my dad felt the same way. I wondered why I felt the way I did. Just because my dad felt sad didn’t mean I should be sad. I thought about for days, but I didn’t learn the answer until I got into 7th grade. Empathy. Empathy means that you understand how other people feel. That explains why I felt the way I did on my birthday.

Ever since then I used this lesson almost everyday. When I talk to people, I think about what I say so I don’t hurt their feelings. I try my best not to say anything offensive. I hate hurting other people’s feelings because it causes me to become sad too. This explains why I don’t hurt people’s feelings.