Just imagine

Studying urban violence in Brazil, hearing people’s experiences of being robbed, mugged, held up at gun point. One woman said, ” all my family, all my friends have been attacked. Only me, I’m the only one who hasn’t. Can you imagine?”

No, I cannot. I cannot imagine how that feels. I can try. I can imagine a tiny little bit of the fear, anger, despair. But it is so far from my life experience that it stretches my powers of perspective taking. I can imagine enough to know it must be horrible, to sympathise. I am not sure yet what this tells me about empathy.


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