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How empathy and understanding others is important for our society

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Americans have a long way to go in many aspects of life. One of the most common things that we as a country/society have to improve on is not just focusing on ourselves. We’re so use to being independent that we actually think being interdependent is a sign of weakness. Not only that, but they have this big egotistical, self-aggrandizing mindset and you would think it’s genetically encoded into them, but it is not. It’s a way of life and it is part of their culture. A perfect example that fits that description is Donald Trump. Moreover, children are affected by these culturally passed down traits as well. It hinders them from collaborating and connecting with each other/life itself which is what Yo-Yo Ma was suggesting with implementing STEAM. It bridges us by our practices of shared values of collaboration, flexibility, imagination, and innovation (Ma 258-261).

All of this contradicts Yo-Yo Ma’s Empathy and Arts. By observing Henrich’s game, a person who is studying this can infer that wherever a person emanates from and how he or she were raised, they more than likely will have a divergent set of moral codes, values or principles in their life. In order for WEIRD American’s to benefit from the usefulness of art they would have to adapt to being more diversed with life outside of their culture to enhance their human cognition so that they can develop more understanding from others as well as be more interdependent amongst others. Basically instill the practices of Art and Empathy into their daily lives.

We are just at the beginning of learning how these fine-grained cultural differences affect our thinking. The weird mind appears to be unique in terms of how it comes to understand and interact with the natural world. Studies show that Western urban children grow up so closed off in man-made environments that their brains never form a deep or complex connection to the natural world (Watters 493-498).

Children’s can adapt from these cultural cognitions if they would learn to implement arts in to their daily lives, even as they age instead continuing the norm. They would see life in a deeper way, connect to it more and overall see things more differently.

Learning from Ma’s perspective, I realized that us as humans are constantly absorbing information we learn, continuously flourishing within our developing mind, and always experimenting. Therefore, children can use arts as a lever to allow for deeper connections to the world and nature.

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