“Empathy, empathy, Put yourself in the place of me!”

-Jin Ai Jones

It’s was after high school, during my 3rd year at junior college was when I learned to true meaning of empathy.
Fast forward to years of meeting many different people, hearing about their stories, how they got to this junior college, and what drives them to persevere. During this time, I also got to hear some things about what people thought of me when I was in high school, the feed back wasn’t fun. The whole experience was something that I didn’t think I would go through. It changed me as a person.
Hearing these people that I thought I was close to, did some really damaging this. They don’t know everything I’ve been through in my life. What gives them the right to judge and label me? As I sat on my bed, I thought about how much of my life did I sit there and judge people secretly? How much did I actually empathize with someone? From then on, I made a promise to myself to treat people the way that I want to be treated. Before passing the final sentence on someone, I should at least truly know the person. Who knows, maybe I could help?
Currently and still, I’m keeping that promise to myself, and I found that it’s very rewarding. People want their side of the story to be heard and if I can help then that’s the reward by itself. The lesson I learned was, we interact with so many people and each individual has lived a life that we can either relate or know nothing about. No one know to the fullest extent why each person reacts the way they do. For all we know, they could just be having a bad day or have had a rough life. Point is, empathy does make you a better person, it gives you a clear, calm mind set, and gives you a sense of control of the situation.

Looking back, even though what I went through was hurtful, it made me a better person who wants to understand and hear “their side of the story”. It’s important to stand your ground and know your limits, you have rights to express yourself. To those girls who I thought were my friends. High school was a b*tch and what you guys did was hurtful and mean. However, I don’t know all the details in your lives so, I wish you the best of luck in life.

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