Volume and Number
Volume 51 Issue 3
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Editor in Chief
Western Washington University
Victoria Corkum Dawson Eifert Ashlyn Farnworth Max Gleiberman Elizabeth Hall Oliver Hamlin Riley Kankelberg Melody Kazel Makenna Marks Andrew McClain Michelle McDaniel Merrideth McDowell Riggs Mischke Kevin Mullin Jana Obune Kyra Planetz Garrett Rahn Nick Sadigh Aedan Scanlon Madison Schoenberg Shannon Steffens Quynh Trinh Grace Yatsko
Audrey Bean Sophia Heit Afsara Sadiya Mazey Servin-Obert
I lost empathy when I was young and have since spent my time searching for it. Empathy is a capacity that is messy and unnatural; it is a pain in the ass for us selfish folks. My search for it began in high school. Later, in a college literature class, I rediscovered my infatuation for empathy when I read Leslie Jamison’s “The Empathy Exams.”
“This was the double blade of how I felt about any thing that hurt: I wanted someone else to feel it with me, and also I wanted it entirely for myself.”
Considering you and I have hurt, that we do hurt and that we will hurt in our lifetimes begs the question: do we hurt less when others hurt with us?
I chose this theme hoping to answer this. I’m not sure if we did. Isolated in my room, I met my staff through a laptop screen and encouraged them to be empathetic journalists who ask empathetic questions and seek out empathetic stories about empathetic characters. And, of course, the lack thereof.
We challenged whether or not this capacity is inherently human. We considered if everyone deserves it, how we can earn it and how we claim it for ourselves. We clarified the difference between it and its deceptive neighbor, sympathy.
Besides interviewing people pre-pandemic style, reading this quarter’s stories is the closest I have come to finding empathy again. Hurting with my writers, with my editors and with the characters you will discover gave me a glimpse at something I lost a long, long time ago.
Read with someone else. Then read it again — entirely for yourself.
Higher Education | Journalism Studies
Student life, Student publication, empathy
Independent Student Publication at Western Washington University
Flanary, Jaya, "Klipsun Magazine, 2021, Volume 51 Issue 3 - Spring" (2021). Klipsun Magazine. 276.
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