Zhang: Treat All Stories with Empathy

Zhang: Treat All Stories with Empathy

Michelle ZhangMichelle Zhang

As a teacher-in-training, School of Education and Social Policy junior Michelle Zhang knows how important it is to appropriately respond to vulnerable students, both inside and outside the classroom.

But empathy shouldn’t stop with people we know, Zhang wrote in an opinion piece in the Daily Northwestern. “When we learn how to empathize with strangers or even our enemies, we not only honor the integrity of the people in the stories we read, we also develop a much deeper understanding of the people around us,” she wrote. "We become better at effectively supporting our own ideas." 

When we skim headlines in our newsfeed and forget the stories two weeks later, we are hurting those whose lives are "ingrained in those forgotten stories," Zhang wrote. “By reading journalism empathetically, we can spark productive conversations, become civically engaged and learn how to see the world in color.”

 Read Zhang’s entire piece “Treat all stories with empathy, not just the close ones.” 

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 10/17/17