From where I stand

It was in one of my history classes that I came across the most useful tool. Our teacher, on following the curriculum I assume, asked us to write an account of life if we were an Aryan German school boy growing up in Nazi Germany. She explained, “you have to show empathy for their patriotic stance.” Empathy was a word that resonated in my head since then.

Although we can clearly condemn actions of great atrocities, but to understand political views and even certain behaviours we must put our self in someone else’s shoes to at least attempt to understand their rationale. In order to achieve empathy you need a stretch of imagination. Sometimes you need to take into account someone’s culture, upbringing, class, gender, education and so on, in doing so you can perhaps get to the roots of the conflict and offer your suggestions after addressing their concerns. While you take into account of the many facets of that person you would form a better understanding and connection that often softens the tone of your argument and maybe even realize that their view is more acceptable than yours.

I remembered a famous line from “To kill a mockingbird” by Harper Lee. It was something Atticus Finch said to his daughter Scout that, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view..until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Which might be virtually impossible, yet should give us a more lenient approach when forced to pass judgment.

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