Let It Be Clear That There Is No Suggestion That Observing

1180 WordsApr 26, 20175 Pages
Let it be clear that there is no suggestion that observing someone’s hardship can alone result in a complete understanding of them. Through seeing the life others live and witnessing the specific struggles they encounter, one cannot claim familiarity. What is being proposed, is that if our acquired knowledge of the brain has illuminated something about empathy, then it would be reckless as citizens and as scientists to not use this information to try harder. We never be able to fully understand any one besides ourselves, but despite this limitation our brains are already, without conscious direction/ on its own accord working to understand. Without any effort on the part of the individual, there is a physiological trace of the experiences…show more content…
Every person deserves the right to be treated with respect and care. Often, trying to survive on the margins of our society effectively deprives one of these basic needs. Our society often makes it convenient to ignore and begin to dehumanize the marginalized, as opposed to being with others and sharing in a piece of their pain and struggle. Sharing in the lives and experiences of individuals who are at a vulnerable point in their lives may be uncomfortable. Nevertheless, bearing witness to the cruelties of the world is of utmost importance not only for the bystander’s growth and change in perceptions or bias but for the individual herself/ himself. To bear witness is to allow oneself to be impacted. By enveloping oneself in the unfamiliar experience possessed by an other there is a change in both the self and the other. The observer can be impacted in a very profound way through bearing witness. As illuminated through the previous review of mirroring systems, the impact is not just on an idealistic level. If one bears witness often, the neural connections to empathy strengthen, creating a real, physically measurable impact. Also, there is immeasurable value in bearing witness to the suffering of an other, even if there is no action that the observer can take to fix the situation. Suffering alone is a horrible fate. Simply by bearing witness to the suffering of another, the sufferer no longer

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