Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hope and Empathy

"The Ultimate Art form for the Age of Outrospection is Empathy." -Roman Krznaric

I want to take a moment to jot down a few thoughts I've had just after watching J. K. Rowling's Harvard Commencement Speech for 2008.

I'm left mostly with a huge knot in the back of my throat that I feel must have been induced of this new-found respect I've never before felt toward an author. There's also a sort of physical lightness that seems to stem from the pit of my stomach. I know as a time-saver here I could just state, "It's hope that I'm feeling right now." But lately I've been sick of the sound of cliches, and I want to write something descriptive that allows me to look back on this at a later day if I need hope, and remember exactly what feelings that specific emotion takes the form of in me.

Later, with more composed opinions concerning the video, I have this to say:

Hope for humanity is one thing I think we're all searching for lately, whether in each person it is subconsciously or aggressively consciously - it lies within all of us. And I think I say "lately" because it is now more than ever that more people in the world have become accustomed to the kinds of modern luxuries that put the time it takes to begin to value learning simple humanistic ideals on the back burner. Finding connections with others and being able to relate to others' experiences as well as are own gives us all the hope that we sometimes need to recharge our days. Essentially, empathy for others is the lesson that - if learned and practiced by all - would be the key to a perfect life.

In two videos I've watched recently, I found two intelligent people who essentially express how important empathy is in everyday life. I think they're spot on with this realization, and it gives me so much hope that these two people are using modern creative means (novels and making videos on YouTube) to spread this word to anyone who will listen.

"What it means to be human is to step outside of oneself and connect to others."
The first inspirational person is Ze Frank, mentioned in this video:

The second, of course, is J. K. Rowling, for her commencement speech at Harvard:

I hope one day I myself will be able to express the value of empathy in humanity by my own creative means.


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