We all crave to live in a world where we have a perfect society, perfect governments, and perfect human beings. Unfortunately for us, there is no such thing as a utopia.
However many people, including Yo-Yo Ma and Kwame Anthony Appiah, have come up with ideas and thoughts that could get us one step closer to being a perfect world. Yo-Yo Ma’s essay “Necessary Edges: Arts, Empathy, and Education” suggests that we need to incorporate empathy and art into our everyday life so that we can fully understand feelings from others and learn from them. In the same manner, Appiah’s essay “Making Conversation” emphasises the importance of communicating with other close to you and people from other cultures. Both, Yo-Yo Ma and Appiah propose that the world can be a better place if we integrate communication, empathy, and arts on a day-to-day basis.
Yo-Yo Ma writes “Empathy is your capacity to imagine what some else is going through; what they are thinking, feeling and perceiving. That will not only give you an outlook on who they are, but also what your alternative possibilities are” (Ma 259). The author illustrates how empathy plays a vital role in creating a better place. He explains that by joining arts with empathy one can learn to understand and acknowledge the people around you. “The arts teach us that there is something connects us all and is bigger than each of us” (Ma 259). Yo-Yo Ma wants the reader to understand that by introducing arts into our school system, children began to learn about empathy at an early age. He also states how incorporating arts into our education can resolve the education problem because kids will go to school because it is a passion and a privilege, not a requirement (Ma 259). Yo-Yo Ma makes a genuine remark with what he mentions. Many students nowadays dread going to school because it is “boring” and by teaching these different methods of combining education with arts, it makes students more and more eager to attend schools and enjoy it. Through conversations, people will become more aware of their surroundings and truly begin to experience the different ways that people enjoy life. Appiah reveals that only in the past couple centuries have we come to a point where each of us can realistically imagine contacting any other of our six billion conspecifics and sending that person something worth having: a radio, an antibiotic, a good idea (Appiah 45). He explains how we, as a society, have come a long way from where we used to be. He provides descriptive commentary to illustrate how we came to a point were we being to empathize with fellow human beings. He shows that through conversation we can create new experiences and through gradual changes we can become a better world.