Joanna a response from them. I was slightly

Joanna Tee (12) , 304                                                                                             15/1/2018Mrs Irene TanThis I Believe: Power of Empathy  Would you feel heartened if someone were to show care for you, offer you a listening ear and understand you? Although this may sound simple, it greatly affects the person you are showing concern for. For far too long, I have been tied up with my busy life, ignorant of those around me who needed care. In fact, there are many people in society who need someone who understands. Well, I used to not put much thought into the values of care and empathy. I was often told to put myself in other’s shoes, but I realised that most of the time, I was just being concerned about my own troubles, seeing things from my own perspective. Thankfully, over the past year, I have truly understood the importance and power of empathy.   Just last year, I had the privilege of doing Community Education, whereby I visited an elderly care centre. It wasn’t any ordinary experience. At first, I was apprehensive about approaching the elderly as they appeared rather grumpy and unfriendly. However, as I started interacting with them, I realised that they were very willing to chat and share their stories with me. It was not a completely smooth interaction though. My conversation with the elderly had a bumpy start. In the beginning, I spoke pretty fast and did not get a response from them. I was slightly worried and discouraged for a while, until I figured out that I needed to be clearer when communicating with them. The elderly had white hair, were squinting their eyes and leaning forward to make up what I was saying. As I think of it now, I feel really ashamed for not being aware of their difficulties earlier.  Afterwards, I slowed down while talking to them and tried my best to enunciate, so that they were more likely to understand what I was saying. At times, I showed them pictures too. They shared many of their touching life experiences which I tried to relate to. I even managed to comfort one who started shedding tears as she reminisced about her past and the loss of her loved one. It was heartbreaking. Although I was not there for a long period of time, I could tell that they felt the warmth and joy of being able to confide and share their stories with me. All they need is someone who understands, someone who cares and someone who can be by their sides.  I have decided to be that someone. When I start to empathise and care, I trust that I can make others feel appreciated and loved, bringing them more warmth and comfort. I believe in being empathetic to those around me as it makes a difference. The world will be a better place filled with love and care. Be the light for others.( 470 words )