To the blog:Empathy is something that I believe can be aquired. It is something that can be learned through example. You can still be empathetic even though you haven't been through the same situation as someone else, because your mind can imagine what it felt like. Secondly, to the issue of cyberbullying, I think that texts and non-face-to-face connections and conversations will lower the amount of connection to another person, but I don't believe it causes a lack of empathy. Empathy is understanding of a situation, not understanding of a context. Text can be misinterpeted, but that doesn't lead to a lack of empathy. Also, empathy is not sympathy. That's what I think many people confuse with one another. Empathy is understanding, Sympathy is trying to do something about it because you feel so bad about the situation. Also, Lauren brought up a good point on drafts. If the president empathized with the draftees, then he might not issue the draft, even if we needed the extra soldiers. Also, to the parenting issue, I don't think kids should be able to empathize with their parents. I'm not sure a kid has the ability to do so, number 1 because they are still developing the brain and all of it's fine qualities. Sure, later on in the high school region and maybe in college should that happen, but beforehand, no. Parents should empathize with kids, though. But they shouldn't be overly-empathetic that they start sympathizing more and more with the kids. This can lead to some bad parenting skills. I agree with Alex A when she says that empathy can be controlled. You can control anything in your life, in my opinion. Empathy may not have an on/off switch, but you can choose not to feel for the other person if a professional or economic decision has to be made, or if you have to do something like the Atomic Bomb in World War II, to kill thousands to save millions. I'm not saying that you have to kill someone, just that if you hurt a few people and help a bunch of others, that will be good for people as a whole, and empathy can get in the way of that. Towards the end, the issue of empathy levels came up again. I think that someone can be born with a base level of empathy and that can be added on to or taken away by actions that happen to the person. I'll also allude to what I said above, that you don't have to go though something to empathize with it. You can imagine what it was like in your mind and be empathetic about that. I disagree with Derek when he says that sympathy is completely imagination of what one has been through. Sympathy in my opinion is when you try to do something about the situation, that your 'on their side' about an issue, mainly because you feel bad about it. Sympathy is the next level of Empathy.That's all.