I choose the book Against Empathy by Paul Bloom. I am a very Empathic person, I feel and read emotions of people very well. And I can respond to those emotions and offer emotion, mental,
and physical support. So when looking at the list of books to pick, Against Empathy just stood out to me. A book where Paul Bloom talks about taking the emotions and feeling out of life.
How our justice system would be different, school system, and much more.
This book has an amazing way to make you think and wonder about how Empathy really works. How it asks small little questions to the reader so you can react and think.
Many questions in this book I have brought up with my brother have conversations due to his interest in the book as well.
From chapters about placing yourself in the shoes of others to the cruel world of violence we live in, Paul Bloom does an amazing job guiding you into this journey of being or even for, empathy.
My favorite part of the book currently has to be questions and thought provoking energy this book gives. It allows the reader to stop and think. On page 22 of the book,
Paul Bloom talks about an Chinese philosopher, Mencius. He asked this time old question " imagine that you are walking by a lake and see a young child struggling in shallow water.
If you can easily wade into the water and save her, you should do it. It would be wrong to keep walking."
To me I love this mind asking question, should you help, is it your problem that this child could drown. I would personally help, but in the back of my mind, what if i fail to save her?
Would I be charged for anything? Where is this child's parents shouldn't they help? The empathic side of is saying to help, but not everyone can be helped.
While reading Against Empathy and going over what we learned in class. It was but difficult to try and find sometime I could relate too. But then it hit me. From Endurance by Alfred Lansing,
a book to me not only about endurance both physically and mentally, but also emotionally. The captain of the ship, Ernest Shackleton.
Him and his men go through hell, and survive the hellish landscape of the cold antarctic. Not only having to hunt and survive, but endure every moment.
But where the empathy came in, where emotion came in was from Shackleton. The man was in control of it all,
captain of the crew and he had to try his best to keep his men's morale afloat.
Shackleton, even going through the same pain as his men, still showed and attempted to keep things positive,
and that is what empathy is about, being able to connect and work together towards a better goal.
Can this book itself cause any change? No. But can the book teach and give insight how the world can and can not be with or without empathy? Yes.
The book itself raises questions about morals and doing good things. Giving you real life problems that would make you question, "would I do that?".
Seeing this 2016 election and now soon the 2020, and how people act over wearing a face mask, how we treat people just from the different color of our skin.
We are all overdue to relearn empathy. Overall I highly recommend this book to anyone who just wants to learn more about empathy, or to be against it
Bloom, P. (2018). Against empathy: The case for rational compassion. London: Vintage Digital.
Below is a link to a slide show I made that is a brief summary of each chapter and a few quotes I liked in each chapter
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