Amnesty mobilises thousands of people who have never been tortured or imprisoned for their beliefs to act on behalf of those who have. The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet. My small participation in that process was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life.
Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places.
Of course, this is a power, like my brand of fictional magic, that is morally neutral. One might use such an ability to manipulate, or control, just as much as to understand or sympathise.
And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.
I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the wilfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.
What is more, those who choose not to empathise enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy.
One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.
So given a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.
Now you might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I personally will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.
One of the greatest formative experiences of my life preceded Harry Potter, though it informed much of what I subsequently wrote in those books. This revelation came in the form of one of my earliest day jobs. Though I was sloping off to write stories during my lunch hours, I paid the rent in my early 20s by working at the African research department at Amnesty International’s headquarters in London.
There in my little office I read hastily scribbled letters smuggled out of totalitarian regimes by men and women who were risking imprisonment to inform the outside world of what was happening to them. I saw photographs of those who had disappeared without trace, sent to Amnesty by their desperate families and friends. I read the testimony of torture victims and saw pictures of their injuries. I opened handwritten, eye-witness accounts of summary trials and executions, of kidnappings and rapes.
Many of my co-workers were ex-political prisoners, people who had been displaced from their homes, or fled into exile, because they had the temerity to speak against their governments. Visitors to our offices included those who had come to give information, or to try and find out what had happened to those they had left behind.
I shall never forget the African torture victim, a young man no older than I was at the time, who had become mentally ill after all he had endured in his homeland. He trembled uncontrollably as he spoke into a video camera about the brutality inflicted upon him. He was a foot taller than I was, and seemed as fragile as a child.
how many people here in this room smile more than 20 times per day? raise your hand if you do. oh, wow. outside of this room, more than a third of us smile more than 20 times per day, whereas less than 14 percent of us smile less than five.
in fact, those with the most amazing superpowers are actually children who smile as many as 400 times per day.have you ever wondered why being around children who smile so frequently makes you smile very often? a recent study at uppsala university in sweden found that its very difficult to frown when looking at someone who smiles.
you ask, why? because smiling is evolutionarily contagious, and it suppresses the control we usually have on our facial muscles. mimicking a smile and experiencing it physically help us understand whether our smile is fake or real, so we can understand the emotional state of the smiler.
Everybody， good afternoon:
First of all thank the teacher gave me a story in my own future ideal job.
Everyone has a dream job. My dream is to become a boss, own a company.
In order to achieve my dreams, I need to find a good job, to accumulate some experience and wealth, it is the necessary things.
Of course, in the school good achievement and rich knowledge is also very important. Good achievement and rich experience can let me work to make the right choice, have more opportunities and achievements.
At the same time, communication is very important, because it determines whether my company has a good future development. So I need to exercise their communicative ability. I need to use all of the free time to learn all. Because I believe, there is nothing in the world can shake my determination.
You will be successful, as your own efforts. So seize the time, we have no time to waste.
Nothing in the world can change their patience ( confidence ).
So whats my Chinese dream ? Finally I will announce.
We had learned a lot of knowledge and understood a lot of truth in the book. We had a basic concept to our country at that time. We know that our country is full of sunshine , and we are the future of our country, and our dreams are to be the hope of our motherland.
However,We dont know what time to start,We are grow up,Life became not the same, though we dont want to admit, its the truth that our mind and attitude to our country is changing. Our society became full of deception, indifference, intrigue, pressure, corruption, sinister, and we became irritable and not calm, detest the world and its ways. Our country seems to have become in a disastrous state too. A lot of young students who were nurtured by our motherland became impatient, let alone what are their dreams , what is the china dream ?
I was surprised ,when the old man fell down in the street,We are afraid to help him.I was disappointed ,when someone do good things were reported,many people think he was affectation, I was sad,when I saw many of young people become indifferent ,fraud and lack of ideal.
Are we sick, or is our dear motherland sick?