Learning to have empathy for others is a process. As you start to make your way through this, you’ll start to notice the ease you feel when sharing empathy for others. This week, let’s take it a step further. Once you’ve opened up to learning about others’ experiences, it’s time to take the empathy we have and apply it to our surroundings. One of the more tangible ways to apply empathy is to take action and amplify the experiences of those you have empathy for. Last week, we discussed understanding the experiences of others, but once you have a grasp on their experience—what’s the next step? We’re encouraging you to take the knowledge and emotion you’ve gained and use it externally. Attend a protest, share an article online from an underrepresented community, speak up when you hear someone speaking ignorantly about a topic. This article suggests taking your empathy a step further and taking the knowledge and skills you have, to speak out for those who are unable to. This distinguishes empathy from compassion, as you’re taking active steps to bring light to different experiences. Starting the conversation is the next step to having true empathy.
While it can be challenging at times, don’t forget the reason why you’re striving to be empathetic— to learn, to grow, to become more well-rounded; to learn about different experiences. Take your time and do small actions to show your empathy and dedication.