I apologize that it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. Family priorities interfered, but I will do a better job of juggling. Please forgive me.
I’ve been thinking about empathy lately. Empathy is defined as the ability to sense and imagine another person’s feelings. I read an article in The Salt Lake Tribune about a dance that Ballet West is going to be performing this fall called “Le Chant du Rossignol” (the chant of the nightingale) that includes dancers portraying Chinese characters which would have involved movements including the bobbing of their heads and shuffling of their feet.
Ballet West’s artistic director, Adam Sklute, held conversations with members of Utah’s Asian American community to get their input so that he could evaluate their feelings. Although some people felt that the art shouldn’t be touched, the decision was made that performing arts are able to be tweaked while still maintaining true to the art. I read that he said, “I feel like we can still present a historical work that gives relevance to it while not insulting anybody.”
It’s not always easy to imagine what someone is thinking when their ideas are different than yours. But it’s important to try. It’s important to seek an understanding. It doesn’t mean that you will agree. But it does mean that you’ll see the other person as a human being. And that’s the first step towards caring about them. And if you care about them, who knows where it can lead?
It’s fun to think about, isn’t it?