Bakersfield High School

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Principal's Message

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Driller Characteristic for the Month of March



Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s perspective and to consider it before reacting. Empathy is the ability to sense other people’s emotions coupled with the ability to imagine what someone else might be thinking or feeling. Empathy is “seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with heart of another.


Empathy starts with putting yourself in someone else’s shoes—a key step in understanding perspectives that differ from your own. This isn’t just a nice thing to do; it’s an essential, active skill. It’s foundational to embracing differences, building relationships, gaining a global perspective, conducting richer and deeper analysis, and communicating more effectively. This skill is one of the most important 21st century skills that students need to thrive as they become productive citizens when you leave high school. The good news is that ALL humans are born with the capacity for empathy and empathy is like a muscle, empathy gets stronger and stronger with practice. This is the muscle that allows you to stand up for something that is important, and not just stand by and watch when you know you are watching something wrong.


Empathy means much more than sympathy. Empathy means that you truly care for someone else, rather than just feeling sorry for someone. The number one characteristic that is missing from young people who become involved with the juvenile justice system is lack of empathy. They do not recognize when they are harming other people because they lack the ability to comprehend that what they are doing is wrong. Bullying is another sign of lack of empathy. If a young person truly knew that their words and their acts were damaging to the other person by understanding what it meant to “walk in their shoes” then the bullying would never happen.


So my students I challenge you today…… to practice empathy. I challenge you to think about other people’s feelings before you make someone feel bad. I challenge you to try to understand another persons point of view when it makes no sense to you. I challenge you to smile when someone is frowning and I challenge you to have the courage to stand up for what is right even thought is easier to sit down and watch. Have a great day… living the Driller Way.  


Have a great day living the Driller Way!

~David Reese