Empathy: A vital Value
Empathy: a Vital Value If more empathy was emphasized in Guatemala, then the country would be a better place. Empathy is the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions. Guatemala; a country located in Central America known all around the world as the country of eternal spring.
With the Mayans as its descendants, Tikal offers one of the most antique and historical landscapes of Central America. With exclusive flora and fauna, it’s growing commercial areas and interactions with other countries, it is a place to go. With an estimated population of around 15.8 million people. More than half of the population live in rural areas where poverty reigns above all social classes of the country. 70% of the country’s underprivileged population can be found in the rural areas of the country as seven out of ten indigenous Guatemalans are poor.
Of the overall population, 59.3% are poor and are living under hard and life altering conditions. A little more than half of the people in Guatemala are suffering lacking the resources they need to live. Two sides: there are always two ways of viewing every story. If people were to understand this, maybe the idea of empathy wouldn’t be a fantasy but a reality.
Everyone has their lives and their own problems. Stereotypes have become a part of our regular lives and day to day are consuming us. When there’s a problem we hear a side, we believe it and sometimes ignore it. Ignorance has become an acquired value that most people don’t even notice it’s there. So many people on the streets; crying for someone to help them inside. Outside, you may see a happy person or you might not even see that person when maybe all the needed was a smile from you.
If Guatemalan citizens started to really pay attention to what’s going on around them and stop and do one good thing for another, then that’s how the country is going to start to change. If people only hear one side of the country’s story they may act differently than if they heard it all. For example, many people just hear the good side and act as if everything is alright but the sad part is they are ignorant to the whole other side. Violence, poverty, lack of careness from humans is consuming the country and still, people choose to ignore it. The solution is right in front of all of us, and most of us chose to pass by it. Getting back to empathy, what does it have to do with all of these problems? If empathy took the place of ignorance in our lives; to what results would it guide us? People would start to care.
Sometimes, all a person needs is a smile, a good morning, a have a good day and it can really have an effect in their lives. Imagine a worker just got off his 12 hour shift working on a farm. He is walking back to his house, tired with only little pay. Nobody said thank you to him, and he doesn’t expect it anymore. Imagine if you could lighten up his day, motivate him to keep going and give his best.
Give his reason to go on and to live. You could change his attitude, maybe not his condition, as for that he has to do for himself but you can alter the way he faces life. Just by smiling at him or saying thank you, those actions can change his view of the world. If you are able to put yourself in his position and have empathy towards the man, you would not ignore him and pass him by on the street. Not only act this way towards a man but everyone despite their race, gender, color, social class, diversity, ethnicity, whoever and whatever they are do this for them and be surprised to what it can do to their lives..
It’s the little things that can have a drastic result. Inside the book To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee wrote, ” “Scout,”said Atticus, “n*****-lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything—like snot-nose. It’s hard to explain—ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody’s favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It’s slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody.” Ignorance can even lead people to say things without realizing what they mean. If the people of Maycomb set themselves to understand the colored citizens and view the world from their perspectives, racism would not even be an idea.
If empathy were known in Maycomb, maybe the white people could truly understand and be compassionate towards the African Americans. If the society of Maycomb tried to understand Bob Ewell’s life and try to talk to him and help him when his wife died, then maybe he would be a different person. Many people are the way they are because they have been let down so many times, that they no longer have any expectations towards the world. Bob Ewell had a hard life and took it out on his children and Tom Robinson. If there was someone there for him, to understand his feelings and share his emotions, they could have helped him manage all his issues and take it out different ways.
The problem was people were ignorant. Infact they knew he was there, they knew he was poor and had no wife, many of his problems were known by most of the citizens of Maycomb, yet why didn’t someone reach out to him? “First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view […] until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, the character of Atticus finch represents justice and wisdom. Here Atticus is advising compassion based on sympathy. He is giving the reader’s life altering advice on being able to put yourself in others place and understand why they act a certain way; even if you don’t agree with it.
Being able to help someone and sense their -problems despite the fact you don’t agree with it is what will really change Guatemala. In a country like this one where these attained values are crucial to find is where they are needed the most. If people were to take a minute out of their days, and sit down to listen to someone and help them overseeing everything that they might be judged for,a change would be seen as people would start to value life and care for each other. As expected, this the effect empathy can have on an entire society. An unexpected turn is made by Harper lee during the trial. The accused man, Tom Robinson demonstrated acts of empathy for someone never expected: Mayella.
When the prosecutor interrogates him, he shares how he helped Mayella with small jobs around her house because he felt sorry for her. Every person is Maycomb is indignant of how a colored man feels this way towards a white person we detect the values and principles that come along with Tom and how he is more alike Atticus that imagined. He had a strong lust to engage and have connection towards other people and it shows his determination to be honest despite the odds. He shows how during his life he has experienced severe grief and enmity, handing him a base to associate with Mayela, the girl responsible for accusing him for rape and possibly sentencing him to his death. As the opportunity rose to learn what other Guatemalans thought about how empathy could change the country the answers given were significant. Edric Olsen said, “Empathy would change the world when people start looking into the eyes of other people and start thinking about how other people approach things and are concerned about it and they can identify with that, we change the way we look at ourselves and the way we do things.
” You see, empathy will not only change the people around you, but most importantly yourself. Once you start helping others and understanding both sides of a story, the way the world works will completely differentiate from your past beliefs. You will discover yourself and find things about you that you did not see before. You will become wiser and make new friends along the way. Empathy is a value that not everyone possesses so far.
Guatemala, like many other places around the world, has true potential. Potential to grow and prosper and make lifegood for everyone in it. The country’s fate lies in our hands and as citizens we should help it grow and even grow ourselves rather than let it and all Guatemalans go down with it. If everyone in the country were to think of others and put themselves in their positions, the poverty and violence percentages would go down, even disappear. When people show empathy towards others they motivate each other. People who receive empathy are determined to work harder and know that someone is out there for them who gets it.
They are able to see the world differently and essentially have hope. If empathy were a practiced value in our country; problems like violence and poverty wouldn’t even be an issue. Due to the previous arguments presented, it is clear that if more Guatemalans were to take their decisions based on empathy and be sympathetic towards each other, the country without doubt would grow into a prominent environment.