I’ll preface this by saying I’m very tired and I’m not trying to write a thesis. Also, it is filled with generalizations and this is just my opinion.
Empathy is the capability to share your feelings and understand another’s emotion and feelings. It is often characterized as the ability to “put oneself into another’s shoes,” or in some way experience what the other person is feeling.
What is wrong with the word ‘different’ and ’empathy’? It is so funny how freaked out conservatives are by the word ’empathy’. Yet they used the word compassion to win over some people in 2000. I knew it was BS all along. Conservative and empathetic?? LOL. Who fell for that?
Conservatives aren’t bad. Liberals aren’t good. People in the middle are sane. Seriously, when I realized that conservatives think in black and white and tend not to be compassionate, I stopped hating them so much. The groups are different. (What, I thought we were all the same.) Liberals tend to see every side. They are more compassionate. And some are empathetic.
Conservatives and liberals just think in a different manner. Is it nature or nurture? I would say a bit of both. I do believe some people are born with more empathy. Just like sociopaths are born without empathy. I don’t understand how people can think in black and white and think that it is okay. While they would look at me like I’m wrong for seeing gray. I would love to get into the mind of a conservative…for a day.
Of course this all comes about because of Obama choice for the supreme court: Sonia Sotomayor. Not once during the introduction today did Obama or Sotomayor say the word “empathy”. Transcript here. Here is what he said
First and foremost is a rigorous intellect, a mastery of the law, an ability to hone in on the key issues and provide clear answers to complex legal questions.
Second is a recognition of the limits of the judicial role, an understanding that a judge’s job is to interpret, not make law, to approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice, a respect for precedent, and a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand.
These two qualities are essential, I believe, for anyone who would sit on our nation’s highest court. And yet these qualities alone are insufficient. We need something more.
For as Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, the life of the law has not been logic, it has been experience; experience being tested by obstacles and barriers, by hardship and misfortune; experience insisting, persisting, and ultimately overcoming those barriers. It is experience that can give a person a common touch and a sense of compassion, an understanding of how the world works and how ordinary people live.
And that is why it is a necessary ingredient in the kind of justice we need on the Supreme Court.
I know Obama has talked about empathy before **GASP** but by the reaction on conservative radio, I thought that was all he talked about today.
I’ll conclude with a bit on ‘different’. I could write forever on this. It really bugs me when people do the “we are all the same” shtick. Is it an American thing? Yes we are all human. No we don’t have the same opportunity.
-a schizophrenic and uh a non-schizophrenic have equal chance to become a lawyer?
-a lower/middle class person and a person who has parents as Harvard alumni have an equal chance to get into Harvard?
-a lower class person has access to the same lawyer as a middle class person?
-a person going to a sub par high school have equal footing with a person who went to the best public/private school?
For people not to acknowledge these things is mind boggling. IMO, they are lying to themselves…maybe to appease the privilege they have and don’t want to recognize. It is better for their ego to believe that everyone has an equal chance…which is bullshit.
I have to enjoy my free time before my 5 week summer session. Tomorrow school starts.