2016 Apllicant – Robert A. Klingler Co., L.P.A. Ohio Problem-Solving Scholarship
Emily Byrd – Perrysburg, Ohio
Empathy is something they teach you in elementary school but is soon after forgotten. When I was in third grade my school’s guidance counselor came to my class and taught us about empathy. At that time none of us knew what empathy was. Our guidance counselor explained to us that empathy is when you think about how others feel. She told us that before we act we always need to think about how our actions will affect others. That lesson really stuck with me. That year we had many lessons about the characteristics necessary to become a good person, but the lesson about empathy is the only one I remember. If I could change one thing about the world I would make everyone go back to the third grade for a day to learn about empathy.
Empathy is the ability to share and understand the feelings of another. Our world lacks empathy. People only think about themselves. Everyone is trying to get on top. Everyone wants a promotion or that fancy new job. People are driven towards success, but fail to realize how their actions affect others. I think a large number of the problems in our world are caused by a lack of empathy. If people were more empathetic there would be less violence and crime. If people would think of others the world would be a happier place.
I think understanding other people is the key to a happy, successful life. You may not like every person you meet, but you need to put yourself in their shoes. Sometimes you meet someone who is rude and mean. Many people would be rude and mean right back at the person. Many problems could be avoided if you try to understand why other people are mean. You can’t judge a book by its cover, just like you can’t judge a person until you have lived their life.
The world would be a better place if people stopped to think before they act. Sometimes people get really mad. In their anger they might do stupid things. They might lash out at friends and family, curse, or become violent. They are acting on their emotions without thinking. They aren’t thinking about how their anger will affect those around them. If they would just stop and think about how they are affecting their friends and family they would be better off.
If people were more empathetic there would be less crime and violence. Imagine if before a bugler broke into a house he stopped to think about how the family that lived there is going to feel. Imagine if before raping a young girl a rapist stopped to think about how the girl will feel. Imagine if before killing someone a murderer stopped to think about how the friends and family of his victim will feel. Imagine if before hitting his wife a man stopped to think about how he is affecting her. If people thought about the consequences of their actions they wouldn’t do so many stupid things.
Having empathy is not hard. It doesn’t take a lot. You don’t need to be smart, you don’t need money, and you don’t need a fancy degree. All you need is your brain and desire. People who truly want to understand others will be able to. Desire is the key. If you don’t want to be empathetic you won’t. All it takes is a moment, a few seconds before you act to think about others. If you live to 80 what does a few seconds matter?
Thank you to all of our applicants. Please check out the annual Robert A. Klingler Co., L.P.A. Ohio Problem-Solving Scholarship for current opportunities.