Where is our Empathy | Teen Ink

Where is our Empathy

March 30, 2021
By jfbeaton36 BRONZE, Princeton, New Jersey
jfbeaton36 BRONZE, Princeton, New Jersey
2 articles 1 photo 0 comments

Over 2.16 million people have died from Coronavirus globally, including over 550,000 Americans. More Americans have died in the last year than died in all of World War II. More Americans have died from Covid 19 than died during World War I, both Gulf Wars, The Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined.  More Americans died yesterday than died during the 9/11 Terrorist Attack in 2001. Thousands of Dads, Moms, sisters, coaches, teachers, doctors, nurses, lawyers are dying everyday. 

We are in a National emergency, a crisis, but no one is crying; we are not starting our days at school with a moment of silence; America has lost its empathy. Americans have been desensitized to death. 

Society has conditioned us through social media and major news networks that when we see death on TV, read about death in the paper, listen about death on the radio, we separate ourselves from the trauma. We have been taught to compartmentalize instead of empathize. 

Many teachers and students neglected to address the pandemic in their classrooms after last spring. Just because the news is not covering it does not mean that people should forget about  the pandemic and those who are dying everyday. 

American’s see covid deaths as numbers instead of people. We see someone else die and think to ourselves about how lucky we are and how disaffected we are. We resume our daily lives with or without masks as if everything is normal.

Everything is not normal. No one should be in school, not wearing a mask, not social distancing and not washing their hands. Covid deaths are not just numbers, they are people; brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, dads, moms, pastors, teachers, and vital members of their communities. We cannot forget those who are dying. 

We should be honoring those lost everyday to the coronavirus through daily moment’s of silence, through reflection on our own life. We need to spend time with our loved ones and put energy into our friendships because tomorrow it could be you we see or hear as a number on TV or on the radio. 

This pandemic and new tragic reality is not going away. All educational institution have the responsibility to teach thier students the gravity of the moment. We are making history. Thus Schools have the responsibility to build empathy in its students. 

Starting every day with a moment of silence would humble students and teach them the gravity of the situation. Every day everyone must be given a moment to reflect on their life and to reflect on their relationships. This moment of silence will instill a new sense of purpose in students and instill gratitude. 

Ignoring the pandemic and focussing on resuming normal academic curricula is awful because it teaches students to be selfish and to ignore suffering because they must focus on their own education instead. All schools have a responsibility to teach students how to feel. Also by giving students a moment of silence to reflect on their life and to honor those who have passed away gives students a means to express their feelings in this tumultuous time.

America’s darkest days still lie ahead. Thousands of Americans are going to die. The vaccine roll out will take time. It is projected that over 500,000 Americans will die in the coming months. Therefore academic institutions have a responsibility to educate their students in gratitude and in empathy. Only empathy can help us to move forward and resolve this pandemic. You wear a mask not for yourself, but to protect others. We are stronger together so we must unite to resolve this crisis and use our empathy to create a light at the end of the tunnel.


The author's comments:

Inspired by pandemic 


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