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Saturday, July 20, 2019
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Y-Speak: Selective empathy

WHEN you look around you what do you see? What sight does your visual perception immediately land to whenever you observe? In all of these observations, what does stand out the most? You tend to see the bad ones first -- the nature of illness in generality, the flaws, and the problems are what we easily notice around us.

Take for instance the time you take when you stroll around your neighborhood during the wee hours of 3 p.m. You get annoyed at the sight of trash being littered beside the garbage can that was neatly stacked. With this thought, you already concluded that the people by the area are careless and irresponsible with the garbage duties.

Another event would be that you would much rather wallow and get frustrated at the rapid growth of wild grasses with the flowers your mother was growing in your backyard instead of appreciating the flowers growing itself. We are practicing this emotion known as selective empathy.

This is a rampant and mostly an unconscious way of doing it. We miss a great amount of significant happenings because we would rather focus on the small part of a bigger picture that is actually happening and prevalent around us. This happens every day from the little up to the big ones.

Take for example how people would react between the well-being of a cute and tiny animal than that of a furry and giant endangered species.

Also with the ongoing campaign against the use of plastic waste, people have more concern with their lessened usage of straws when getting their drinks than the actual use of plastic itself that comes with the cup and so forth.

One could mostly give more attention and affection to another thing simply because it is narrowed than based on the surface features and the minimal benefit it actually causes; and this is saddening. Our concerns and empathy must extend and reach to what is the actual reason that causes all these problems. We should give love than selective empathy. (Alyzza Jean Mundog, UM intern)


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