Teaching ‘life skills through stage skills’: They will strengthen their empathy muscles

Those summer classes taught me how to be a good listener, how to utilize my strengths and how to step outside of my comfort zone day after day. They also taught me empathy, perhaps the most valuable lesson of all.

Empathy is not easy for any one of us to master. And in this self-interested and — centered age, it is an accomplishment to cultivate a generation of empathetic young people. To be empathetic is not only to hear the stories and witness the emotions of others, but also to feel them, too. It requires energy and stamina. Empathy may ask you to feel some pain and sorrow, knowing full well that these feelings didn’t originate with you. It requires you to bear burdens that don’t belong to you. It requires a degree of ego death and promotes the desire to help those in need.