In chapter 12 it focuses on social relations and helping. One way in which someone can help indirectly is through empathy. Empathy is defined as putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. We attempt to understand and feel the emotions that another person may be experiencing. Empathy is a way in which we attempt to help others, to help relieve their sadness or burden.
A silly example of this is men and sympathy pains. I have heard before that men take on similar feelings, both emotional and physical, to those of their pregnant wives. Yesterday, my roommate had over her co-worker and his pregnant wife for breakfast. He ate close to twenty crepes. When we were talking to him about it he said that ever since his wife has been pregnant she has been eating more. He has found that in addition to her eating more, he also has increased his consumption of food. He was very serious, and he couldn’t understand it. I was able to explain that he was feeling empathy!
This is a silly, but good example of empathy. He was putting himself in his wive’s shoes, trying to make her feel better about her new diet. His over consumption of food was his way of helping her with her emotions and adjustment to pregnancy. His wife did not like the fact that she was eating more food, and in response he increased his consumption of food as well. This was his way of showing empathy to his wife.