In the last studies, I had the opportunity to read and analyze the book “The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World” written by Jamil Zaki. There were many real-life examples included that sometimes it was providing a distractive effect. However, the book was written by a professor of psychology, and that many of the chapters were based on the research. “The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World” is the best book for those who want to disclose the essence of empathy and rethink their attitude toward other people throughout the whole world.
To start with, this book is about empathy. The magnificent impact of this feature is that it develops an individual’s thought and does not change it completely. This effect was reached by providing many examples with a proper explanation of “what had just happened” and “how it can be improved” when speaking about people’s behavior in some situations. Moreover, there were some research and examples that impressed me the most. For example, right at the beginning of the book, the author writes, “I was eight years old when my parents began divorcing, but twelve by the time they finished” (Zaki, p.1). This attracted my attention, and I thought that there would be a description of the wrong empathy, but the story of his parents disclosed to me every detail in their mutual life. To my way of thinking, this example describes the whole book. Even if a person is acting wrong, he or she cannot be prejudiced before digging into their situation (McCutcheon et al., 2014). This book taught me to analyze every person firstly, then try to understand their situation, and only after that provide my opinion about what I have examined.
Moreover, some situations enabled me to deeper understand the personal conflicts and the prejudices of many social groups. For example, there was a situation when a former Neo-Nazi guy hated his teacher due to his nationality. However, the author explained that personal hate begins not with the red face. It begins with a significant deficit of interconnection (Zaki, 2019). This explanation of anger impacted me considerably and I realized how it could be possible for me to anger some people. Not the hate itself was the reason, but the lack of things in common between the person and me made my attitude to them so severe.
The Real-Life Application
One of the best features of this book is that it recalls many exciting situations that I could not refuse overthinking after the reading. Moreover, by analyzing self-behavior in some situations, I disclosed that I was demonstrating the wrong empathy in most circumstances. For instance, there was an interesting case when I was eight years old. I was trying to raise some money by selling street food to the public.
Suddenly, one woman came to me and fell on the ground without any spoken word. After 5 seconds of being shocked, I realized that she needs some help. While I was looking at her to find the reason for such a fall, the woman showed me that she needs some water. Four minutes later, I saw her showing me the glass of water, I approached the table and took a bottle of water, and she was saved. When reading this book, I made parallelism with the seminarists and realized that I was so hurrying to help that woman that I could not stop rushing and analyze her issues.
Overall, this book is written about real-life situations, with all the benefits and drawbacks. Moreover, I admire the author’s possibility of affecting people by providing bright and exciting examples. Even though I had some prejudices at the beginning of reading the book, now I can agree with the author in most situations. By analyzing the book, empathy is not a born trait of character. This is something that hard work must develop. I recommend this book to people who are trying to disclose the nature of empathy, provided with numerous examples throughout the book.
McCutcheon, L. E., Hackney, A., & Hart, J. (2014). Social Psychology for Today’s World (1st ed., Vol. 1). CAT Publishing.
Zaki, J. (2019). The War for Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World (Illustrated ed., Vol. 1). Crown.