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In honor of today's inaugural Day4Empathy, we are sharing the following video featuring Roger Ebert's speech on empathy, delivered in July of 2005 at the dedication of his plaque outside the Chicago Theatre. Also included in the video is footage of the memorial held at the same venue for Roger following his passing on April 4th, 2013. Accompanying the video is the transcript of Roger's words (which can be viewed at the 0:45 mark)...
“We are all born with a certain package. We are who we are. Where we were born, who we were born as, how we were raised. We are kind of stuck inside that person, and the purpose of civilization and growth is to be able to reach out and empathize a little bit with other people, find out what makes them tick, what they care about. For me, the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. If it’s a great movie, it lets you understand a little bit more about what it’s like to be a different gender, a different race, a different age, a different economic class, a different nationality, a different profession, different hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us. And that, to me, is the most noble thing that good movies can do and it’s a reason to encourage them and to support them and to go to them.”
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