RE “FATALITY” (Op-ed, Oct. 20): As I read Tom Keane’s meditation on the meaning of life and death after he witnessed a tragic highway accident, I found myself tensing, waiting for the blame to come: the accident was the fault of a drunk or texting driver, the local department of transportation, or the tire manufacturer. When the blame didn’t come, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Keane’s story was refreshing because he showed empathy for all involved, including the man who died, the witnesses, the emergency personnel, and even the frustrated drivers stuck in traffic.
While finding the root of problems is almost always a valid endeavor, our frenetic attempts to assign blame can obscure the importance of taking time to stand in another’s shoes.
When we can empathize with the drivers, the police, the waiting cars, and even ourselves, we create a more compassionate and altruistic society.