Guest Room | Novak Djokovic and the Case for a Radical Empathy

Novak Djokovic doesn’t care about your rules. 

The Serbian tennis star, who was detained in Australia and ultimately barred from entry into the Australian Open, is the latest high-profile athlete to find himself at the heart of a culture war firestorm over vaccine denialism. The media has shouted him down for two weeks, his fellow anti-vaxxers for two years, and it seems that here we find ourselves stuck. 

Such dramas, captivating as they may be, have brought us no closer to mending our bitter political divides. The antidote to our insufferable culture war is dreadfully boring: empathy. But, crucially, the ability to express it need not mean sacrificing our ideals to political moderation. 

Cornell promises that its students can usher in a better world in the face of cultural and political strife. Tell that to a first-week freshman and their eyes will sparkle.

POORE | I Think I’m Getting Empathied Out

Warning: The following content contains sensitive material about suicide. I used to believe that empathy was the key to unity without understanding what it meant. So in my sophomore spring I did Empathy, Assistance, and Referral Service training, the on-campus peer counseling system, and last week I attended the first meeting of Education 2610, also known as Intergroup Dialogue Project. In EARS training and in IDP, we did active listening exercises in pairs. One person would talk for three minutes without the other responding.

DANBERG BIGGS | Really a Very Cowardly Thing to Do

Last week, laid out in the center of the Arts Quad were five sets of sets of flags, each displaying a number. Heading each display was the name of a different nation: Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Somalia and Sudan. These signs, placed there by Cornell Amnesty International as a part of the Week of Action, counted the number of refugees displaced from each nation, and were designed to raise awareness about the hardships faced these millions. On Wednesday night, nearly all of the 250 flags were removed from the ground and scattered throughout North Campus. And it is very difficult to understand why.