Perspective of Empathy in Diversity
With the work I do, specifically for the Iltopia series, I look at many of the psychological aspects of interpersonal interactions. I feel like that affects so much of real life, and it isn’t really paid attention to as often. I compare it to seeing the world as black and white opposed to shades of grey that go from blinding light to abysmally dark. That’s what I think causes so many problems. The lack of empathy. We look at what others do and base our reactions off of the end result. It is a very biased way of thinking because we don’t take into consideration why people do the things they do, and why the end result was that specifically and not anything else. Based off of the notion that there are multiple sides to a story, we tell ourselves the story we want to believe. Not listening to any others.
So I got my undergraduate degree and Master’s degree in Psychology, and I looked at why people do the things they do. With all the things that have been going on in the country, it was something that I felt has value in learn about in society. Being forced to think about things from multiple perspectives has definitely opened up my eyes to the real world. Especially the diversity that comes with people from different backgrounds occupying a particular space. From having my eyes opened I learned that it is never a good idea to act on something you don’t understand unless you are educated and informed about what is actually happening. I feel that that is what we lack as a society because we live in the land of free speech and expression, but we are so critical of what people do. A black man with dreads and tattoos on his face will never get hired in Wall Street even if he has a MBA. A Muslim wearing traditional headdress can be seen as a terrorist and have their life in jeopardy by proud nationalists even if he is a NRA supporter. It’s ignorance and laziness. It’s society without being social. This breaks my heart because black people are being judged and punished on screen for everyone to see by people that are ignorant to the context in which they live their lives. They try to dictate and control the way these citizens live when they don’t understand how and why they live their lives the way they do. It is empathy at its core. The same empathy that makes a teacher a teacher and a coach a coach.
Like the picture above, there are multiple perspectives. You see Roscoe reaching for something, Cadbeary looking at in awe, and Vanessa looking at them in shock and disgust. Is she upset at Cadbeary or Roscoe? Is Roscoe reaching for the car or trying to touch the thing the car is resting on? What is Cadbeary actually looking at? We will never know unless we ask them. Start the conversation.
Create and Conquer!
Steven Christian (Stuck E.)