The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Jamison revealing essay asks essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How and why should we care about others? Is empathy really empathy? She shows what real empathy is by using her experience as patient actor for medical students. In the Empathy Exams, Jamison is personal, honest, compassionate, and brave. She says, “Empathy isn’t just listening, it’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires inquiry as much as imagination. Empathy requires knowing you know nothing. Empathy means acknowledging a horizon of context that extends perpetually beyond what you can see.” We live in a society where we are taught to repress our emotions and we often assume things about others, but this needs to be changed! We need to stop holding back our emotions and start confronting them. This book will teach you how to be more thoughtful, aware, and empathic of others. You’ll uncover a lot about the type of person you are and your ability to care for others.
“These essays--risky, brilliant, and full of heart--ricochet between what it is to be alive and to be a creature wondering what it is to be alive. Jamison's words, torqued to a perfect balance, shine brightly, allowing both fury and wonder to open inside us.” ―Nick Flynn