By Cody Wilkerson
Something stands out in human beings. It is something that is lacking from almost every other living thing on the planet. It has allowed us to build great civilizations, make amazing leaps in science and medicine, create laws to protect each other, and institute moral codes to keep our societies from fading to the pages of history. It has allowed us to make sweeping social reforms with the sole purpose of helping others, specifically those who may not be as privileged as everyone else; the poor, the sick, the hungry.
The list goes on and on as does the advancement of society and human achievement, yet this one characteristic remains as a shining beacon of what it means to be human: empathy.
The ability to place oneself in another’s shoes is a responsibility that we should all practice with stalwart dedication and fairness. It is not some archaic philosophy to be shirked as though it were irrelevant in our modern society. When people do not practice empathy, it is replaced by indifference, and this allows great injustices to occur. We have a responsibility not just as Americans, but as human beings to make sure that injustice does not take place, and empathy is our greatest tool in this struggle.
Our nation is one that is analyzed (but not admired) by everyone. We have constantly placed ourselves at the head of the pack in seemingly every category there is, and when we ran out of things to be great at, we invented something new so we could be the best at that too. We lead the world by example, yet we are falling behind in ways that are disturbing to think about. We have allowed ourselves to become cold and unfeeling, casting aside our neighbors into hellish environments without a