“Empathy is the art of stepping into the shoes of another person, and looking at the world from their perspective.” (Krznaric) Empathy is being able to understand where a person is really coming from and what they are truly feeling. Contrasting to sympathy, instead of just feeling sorry for a person, empathizing with them gives a better understand of their story. George Orwell, in his essay “What is Science?, Roman Krznaric’s Ted talk, “How to Start an Empathy Revolution”, Jo Berry’s Ted Talk, “Disarming with Empathy'”, Terry Tempest Williams’s story, “The Village Watchman”, Chimamanda Adichie’s Ted Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story” and Dave Egger’s Book, “Zeitoun” all have a message about empathy and the impact of the world with or without it.
Feeling empathy can make it seem as if we are contributing something good to the universe when in reality, we have not.
National Bestseller, “Zeitoun”, by Dave Egger is a story about a married couple, Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun who went through hell during and after Hurricane Katrina.
The book was broken up into five parts and for each part consisted of dates before, during and after the hurricane happened. Abdulrahman was a man who owned his own painting company, which he was very compassionate for. He loved his company so much he chose to stay in New Orleans instead of evacuating to Baton Rouge with the rest of his family. Abdulrahman assumed that his house was sturdy enough to survive the hurricane.
Prior to hurricane Katrina, there was another hurricane that happened about 20 years back, and he was able to survive it. He assumed that since he was able to survive that hurricane, he could survive Katrina. During the hurricane, a majority of his house got damaged; most of the rooms were flooded and the windows were broken.
Instead of Abdulrahman saving himself, he went out of his way to help his community. He used his canoe to recuse people from their homes. After the first day of helping people out, he thought about his brother Mohammed and how he wants to become just successful as he was. Throughout the week, he does nothing else but continue to help around the community as much as he can. After witnessing tons of debris, dead animals and people, he came to realize that he wanted really wanted leave. He finally felt the same way the rest of the people in town felt, exhausted and scared.