Aleksandar Hemon: I happen to think that an ounce of empathy is worth a boatload of judgement. A writer can disease himself or herself with his or her own position, thinking about it too much.
Oh my goodness, you know you’ve done it. I know I have done it, when you let the fierce little critic out of the cage 😈. You say you’re going to the café to give yourself space and time to think, to be creative and inspired.
We end up sitting in the window ‘people watching’ i.e. judging everybody’s jacket and boots. Who wore it best? Not inspirational and not a game.
Placing yourself in an other’s mind and body, imagining what it must feel like to have your family torn apart or separated by racism and hate. To have left a war torn country, like Aleksandar Hemon, and started a new life across an ocean. That, my friend, is empathy.
Write down a list of 5 people, who you see all the time, and know nothing about. Make a point of asking them about them self the next time you run in to them.
It could be a security guard or custodian at your school. The barista that never smiles. Or the guy behind the counter of the Bodega or store by your apartment. It could even be a coworker or peer, who has never shared their story. Today, listen for a change.