It is argued that empathy cannot be taught but could happen through our positive non-judgemental interaction with others. We need to listen and to imagine what it is like to be the other. It is always easier to interact with others if they belong to our group, and hence it is easy to empathise with them as they experience sufferings and hardships through life.
Whether you hate foreigners or not, doesn't mean that your ancestors didn't travel around and reproduce with people from other ethnicities, and thus your ancestors themselves were at one point immigrants too, and you are a mix of many heritages. Rather than looking at this fact with fear, it should be recognised as what it really is: a beautiful thing.
It may only be March but the issue of diversity, specifically ethnic diversity, has been one of the most widely covered topics of 2016. From University admissions to the Oscars, there is an unsettling sense of regression in the number of visibly successful BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic-including Hispanic and Middle Eastern) people in both the UK and America.
I'm extremely proud of my mixed heritage, and everything both it, and I, stand for. It's taken me a good few years of diversions and confusion to get to this point. But I'm here and I'm proud. I would happily talk about my history and my family until the cows come home, and then when they've bedded down, too. But that isn't what the cashier is asking for.
I am facing the distinct possibility that I have worn you out with what appears to be my jaded and sarcastic approach to being a BME teacher. The truth is: I am worn out. The fact that there are not that many Asian women in senior leadership in teaching means that the ones who are here have to work harder to build cultural, ethnic and racial understanding.
Put simply, the boardrooms of Britain's biggest businesses don't reflect the society they're operating in. And, as the BAME population - and their spending power - increases and organisations are increasingly asked about the make-up of their workforces by clients and contractors, this lack of diversity could potentially have huge impacts on their profits.