How can we develop empathy and openness? How can we be whole, and coexist as humans? Knowing and understanding others past’s and hardships is among the first steps in truly feeling empathy. The more a person reveals about their life story, the easier it becomes for others to justify their actions. When we don’t know what people have gone through, how they have struggled and why, it makes it nearly impossible to see the world from their eyes. To really empathize with someone, simply knowing their past is uncommonly enough. Feelings released during heinous and amazing events are not easily transferable, they are specialized and unique. Going through what that person did is crucial in understanding why they made the life decisions they did.
When people feel like they can relate with others, it becomes much easier to mesh and coexist. Openness comes easy people who have struggled in similar ways. There is nothing to feel ashamed of, knowing the person next to you went through the same thing that’s putting you down. Being open becomes difficult when people of different backgrounds and qualities of life are thrown together with no warning. Someone who struggled to avoid their next beating, or scavenge their next meal like Baca won’t exactly want to feel empathy and remorse for a rich white kid complaining of their last generation iphone, or overcooked steak. Why should they? Just because they don’t empathize well doesn’t mean they can’t understand that person grew up in a completely different situation and deserve a real opportunity to prove they are whole people deserving of justice. This is where openness and coexisting becomes complicated, and very difficult.
In my opinion, completely assimilating society is an impossible goal, but that doesn’t mean coexisting as peacefully as possible isn’t. Human conflict is inevitable, it is the type and quantity that are variable and make all the difference. If members of different races and ethnicities can’t learn to tolerate and accept members of others, peaceful coexistence is unfortunately unattainable. People from all different races need to shed their ego driven mentalities that they are better then the next, and appreciate the unique things each person brings to life. Integrating cultures from all over the world into our own would be a great start on our journey to openness and coexistence. Perspective is key in unifying people of different races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. If someone grows up with a negative connotation towards an entire group of people, it is not impossible, but difficult to reverse. If people grow up appreciating different cultures for the cool and unique aspects they bring, smooth integration comes painless and easily.
Empathy, openness, and coexistence with the world around us is no easy task. It requires everyone to work together towards something bigger than themselves. Unity and coexistence is to say at the least a long term goal. For now, I think any progress is great and each person learning to accept others attributes to society is a great step forward. There will always be people unwilling to change, but looking past and ignoring them is among the only ways to shut them down. Learning about cultures from all over the world should be mandatory in public education. With more knowledge and a clean slate, we will hopefully better understand and accept other people in this world.