The Empathy Exams
There isn’t any way to measure or quantify empathy, or any other emotion. There is no monetary value, emotion cannot be exchanged for any goods, and its value as something material is just about zero. But all humans have emotion, it is part of being human. The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison explores emotion, and more specifically, empathy and how we perceive the emotions of others. Understanding and appreciating one another’s struggles, and perhaps relating, are the truly the first steps to a better society and world. More people being able to connect with each other would prevent so many senseless, hurtful acts. The Empathy Exams is an extremely important book to examine your own attitude towards empathy, and perhaps a way to become more empathetic towards other. As she says, “Empathy isn’t just listening, it’s asking the questions whose answers need to be listened to. Empathy requires knowing you know nothing”. Realizing that you know nothing about others is a concept that is hard to grasp. But it is in seeing that you know nothing that you are able to know anything at all. This essay is an intellectual treat, and will open your eyes to facts about yourself, and more importantly to the unknown abyss of “others”.