By: Shyloh 

Word on the Street Issue 44, June 2024

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Imagine a world where we cared about the feelings of others. From the homeless mother and her three kids. To the daughter who day in and day out cares for her father who’s slowly dying of cancer. To the next-door neighbor who never leaves the safety of his house due to the trauma he faced in the Afghan war. These people who go throughout their lives with no one to support them or lend that hand that may provide the strength to live one more day, they would know that they’re not alone. Empathy is more a sense that we can truly understand, relate to, or imagine the depth of another person’s emotional state or situation. It indicates feeling with a person, rather than feeling sad for them.

Empathy has a lot of benefits that can enhance our relationships and reduce our stress levels. Some of the many benefits of empathy include a stronger immune system, improved communication skills, health benefits such as less stress, less negativity, and better fitness, a healthier work environment, and better teamwork. Empathy is important because it helps us better understand how others are feeling, and even it in ourselves. Empathy helps us maintain relationships and plays a role in dictating our success in both personal and professional relationships.

The definition of empathy is “The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” For some people, giving empathy to a person who doesn’t want it can be difficult. With certain people, the desire to be empathetic is almost non-existent. Maybe it’s the way they come across, or the lack of thinking that they need it, which can come across as insolent or taciturn.

When I release, it will be a great way for me to show that I have the ability to be empathetic to another person’s needs and not continuously look out for my own selfish desires. I will be able to understand the feelings of others and lend a hand to the people around me who have been hurt or are going through difficult circumstances. With empathy I will be able to create strong relationships, reduce stress, and enhance my emotional awareness. I can take the expression of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes to a whole other level. 

I want you now to imagine the world filled with integrity. Integrity is defined as having strong moral principles and being honest. It is a very important virtue to have in life because it helps you be a creative and upright citizen. Integrity is very important because it helps you build trust between yourself and others. Integrity means being honest, being true to yourself, reliable, trustworthy, compassionate, humble, and mindful of your words and actions. People who have integrity inspire respect in those around them and they set an example of how to live life with self-esteem. 

Having integrity can lead to success in your professional and personal lifestyles. Integrity means doing the right thing even when people aren’t watching you. It isn’t about doing the right thing while you’re in the spotlight. But also, when you’re not in the spotlight you should do the right thing as well. It can become easy to get caught up with the drama of day to day life and forget about yourself. But integrity can help you stay your authentic self. Integrity lets you make good decisions, be successful in life, and treat others with respect. 

Releasing is a great way to test out my integrity, doing the right thing when no one is watching me. Nobody will be there to watch me 24/7 to make sure that Fll continue doing the right thing. I will have to stop and make sure that I am being integrative and honest in my life. It is a great way for me to build trust with my parents and the people who I used to know who don’t trust me due to my past behaviors. It is a new chance for me to create for myself a successful life. In contrast, the people I hung out with a year ago only know me while I acted out in dishonest or self-interested ways at the expense of others.

In conclusion, integrity is having moral principles and being honest, in the limelight or out of the limelight. It isn’t all about what others notice but what you’re doing while nobody is watching. It’s the act of stepping out from the crowd and telling the truth no matter what people say about you. It’s the bravery to do the right thing no matter the cost. And empathy is the ability to take a stand, and listen to another person’s pain, putting yourself in the situation. From the 17-year-old girl who lost her parents in a car crash, to the 12-year-old boy who was domestically abused by his father for the last 8 years. Showing empathy to the people who go through each day with their heads down, to those who need a hand or a listening ear. I believe that if we as a nation show empathy toward each other and we stand up and take the first step to being integrative, then we can change the world, one person at a time.