Empathy - In the botanical gardens, I began to understand...

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In the botanical gardens, I began to understand the complexities of the human mind through emotion. I sat on the grass, which was being mowed by a shirtless man with dreadlocks flowing down to his waist, as I felt the knees of another girl touching mine. It was too hot out to be that close, but it felt comfortable. Questions, over the two weeks of dialogue, had startled my spirit, and, like a young horse, I was first spooked. In these gardens, I thought myself to be open, and trusting, only to find out that I had yet to encounter the real spook. Rula Watad, a Palestinian-Israeli, looked at me with a story in her eyes; with ideas and opinions rushing into mine. We were ready to share openly and truthfully. We did not know that we were ready for much more than that. Rawan, a staff member, asked questions, but not of me; they were asked of the person sitting across from me. I was to answer for her, through my lips. This would be my experience of true empathy; speaking as Rula: “Army”-- what would Rula say? How is she feeling?
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2008 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Frandina during the Spring '08 term at Johns Hopkins.

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Empathy - In the botanical gardens, I began to understand...

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