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The Power of Empathy

            The power of empathy is very strong in its ability to help us understand others. Not only does it help us understand others, but it also helps us build connections between one another. While everybody is unique in many different ways, we also all have many similarities. One type of similarity is our experiences. Experiencing a situation similar to someone else helps us better understand them, and with that gives us the ability to empathize with their situations. Empathy is a very strong way to connect with someone because they know that the other really can understand their situation whereas someone who sympathizes is really just trying to be kind but cannot fully understand. Not to say that sympathy is wrong, but it does not build connections with others in the same fashion that empathy does. .
             Sometimes it is difficult to empathize with some people on certain things. For example, the book Night by Elie Wiesel is a novel where Wiesel recalls his time during the Holocaust. There are a million reasons why we cannot fully empathize with Wiesel's situation, but there are still ways we can empathize at least a little bit. Not many people have seen the horrors that those in the Holocaust did, but many people have lost people close to them, and that emotion of sorrow is one way that those people can empathize with someone like Elie Wiesel. With sensitive subjects such as the Holocaust, it might seem safer to sympathize rather than empathize because no matter what you are trying to empathize with, you have not experienced the same trauma the other did, thus coming off like you are trying to force a connection. Now this might not always be the case because everyone is different and therefore react to situations differently. However, many would find the effort flattering and appreciate even the attempt at making a connection with them. In the story of Night itself, there is a great deal of empathy shown between the prisoners.

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