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Perspective: Feeding the cat

Humberto Arellano

When my cat wants to be fed, she comes up to my hand, wherever it is, and brushes it with her face. We have a moment of empathy, which I define as a “concert of wants.”

Such moments occur when a comedian succeeds. The comic wants the audience to laugh and the audience wants to laugh and they both get their way.

Moments of empathy occur when someone wants to be understood and the listener wants to understand. Moments of empathy always involve body movement and the expression of feelings. They are rare. We should cherish them when we find them. They are islands of harmony in a dissonant world.

This is Tom McBride. That’s my Perspective.

Tom McBride is co-author of the annual Beloit College Mindset List. He is a specialist in Shakespeare. For 42 years he taught at Beloit, where he won an award for excellence in teaching. He also coordinated the Mackey Distinguished Writers' Program and the First Year Initiatives Program.