Brain Food #469

From imagination to empathy

It is hard to ignore and not think about the political and social uprising - and uprooting - that we are all witnessing. It may be hard for some of us to consider how one may feel under these circumstances, especially when they are the victim. How ‘normal’ differs for everyone.

This is where our imagination can help us, the same kind of imagination we use when reading books, discovering the lives and psyches of characters we love. Empathy, understanding how someone else might feel, requires certain amounts of imagination. Something we are all capable of, if only we remember to exercise it:

“And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.”

— J.K. Rowling

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