You Want Empathy? I’ll Give You Empathy!

We all remember that I teach at a state university in an economically blighted area of the US, right? And that our students get offered full-time jobs that pay $11,000 per year after they graduate? And that our students work 2 – 3 part-time jobs while going to college, right?

A student of mine writes:

The government of our country is oppressive towards the rich people. It treats them unfailry by asking them to pay more than their fair share in taxes.

And you say empathy is dead in this country.

P.S. I have just been visited by a horrible suspicion. Is it possible that the student thinks I’m rich and is trying to get me to like them in this inventive manner?

15 thoughts on “You Want Empathy? I’ll Give You Empathy!

  1. Well, many of these hard working students prefer to do things the hard way rather than get things handed to them at the expense of other people.

    I gotta say, if I had to employ some self-entitled person who believes society owes him/her or a self-sufficient hard working student, I will always choose the latter.

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  2. annon :
    Well, many of these hard working students prefer to do things the hard way rather than get things handed to them at the expense of other people.
    I gotta say, if I had to employ some self-entitled person who believes society owes him/her or a self-sufficient hard working student, I will always choose the latter.

    I think something went wrong with this programming code (sub clauses within other clauses of logical construction), but I would have to drink some coffee to figure it out.

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  3. Anyway, I think it is a good idea to “empathise” with the rich. Smother them with kindness. Develop our minds and bodies to their peaks and then bestow upon the wealthy our deepest sympathies.

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  4. “Is it possible that the student thinks Iā€™m rich ”

    Maybe if they read your blog and observe that you are eating caviar and not batting an eye over $28,000. cameras… šŸ™‚ šŸ™‚

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  5. Hi Clarissa — an unrelated post, so please delete if you see fit. I would like you know what you think of this piece of writing, with its biblical reference points and attitude towards “identity”:

    When I was a child I played childishly; when I became a man I put away the ghost of literary thought that stuffed me with attitudes in my student days. What is it, this vast room we call the sky; these endless miles of reality thickly knit with grit? The waiter must stretch his lips if he wants to get tips. We stand each to each like sides of rock once quarried mercilessly by blind Victorian adventurers who only sought the few gold veins in us. They have extracted the best part of our being and left us like this. I woke up long ago this morning with aches and pains in all the things I took for granted. This desperate tinder becomes youth. Even the death certificate is not quite like me, said Lazarus when he came out of the tomb. Things always happen in the worst possible way, however hard one tries to unbend them. I can never look a rational thought straight in the eyes. Hate me if you wish, but not too offensively. And there I was yesterday hammering the typewriter keys with a worldliness not of this world. Thoughts like claws must be sheathed. Something always happens to show us how blind we really are. This is not only stranger than we imagine but stranger than we can imagine. We cannot all afford the luxury of self-disgust but someone has to do the dirty work. That means — me. My hunger has stamina enough. My actions are always my fault though my thought would plead otherwise. Attitudes–attitudes.

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    1. It’s usually very expensive and not of very good quality when I try to buy it in this region. I think it costs too much because people see it as a luxury item and expect to pay a lot for it.

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