The Responsibility of Empathy – Savannah Spratt, Blog #3

The children of ACH Clear Pathways are the future. There is a great deal of responsibility in assisting them in their studies, nurturing their creativity, and providing them with a place to share their thoughts and ideas. This responsibility includes empathy. Empathy is essential to understanding a child’s needs and working through their complications. Viewing the world from a child’s point of view and reverting to one’s childhood may seem difficult. However, when dealing with children you must remember what it was like to be a child––the wonderment and imagination, along with the frustrations and feeling misunderstood.

Children deserve the respect of adults and their voices must be heard. Listening to others regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, etc. is integral in building a more just world. Throughout my blog posts, I have continually emphasized there is much to be learned from children. Initially, this concept may be challenging to accept. As adults, we assume we know more than children. One of a child’s greatest gifts is their lack of assumption. They have not fully formed their biases and approach the world in an unrestricted manner.

During my time at ACH, I hope I can adequately provide a safe space where all of the children feel accepted and appreciated. I feel that it is my responsibility when working with this community to lend an empathetic ear to each and every kid. I ask all that interact with children on a regular or even intermittent basis to take time to understand a child’s point of view. Momentarily, treat the child’s opinion with the same respect as an adult and indulge with questions and curiosity. In these situations, approach the conversation with an open and empathetic mind. There may be a moment of surprise or discovery within yourself: a glimmer of light, a reconnection to childhood, or even the answer to one of life’s greatest questions.


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