President Donald Trump speaks at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority Policy Conference at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC on June 26, 2019. (Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

Like many, Canadian artist Michael de Adder was saddened and appalled by the images of El Salvadoran migrants Oscar Alberto Martínez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria, drowned on the bank of the Rio Grande river. So de Adder created a political cartoon to capture the way he felt about the tragedy and the reaction from President Donald Trump and his administration to the plight of migrants seeking a better life.

Martínez arrived along with his wife, daughter and a brother at a migrant camp, hoping for an appointment to petition for political asylum in the United States. The family spent two months waiting in temperatures that reached 113 degrees before they decided to try to cross the border. They first tried to enter at the international bridge, but were told the office was closed and to come back another day so they turned to the river.

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Image via Pixabay

Empathy—that ability to imagine how another person feels and share an emotional experience along with them—is praised as an ideal of human behavior. After all, one of the alleged hallmarks of a true psychopath is that they can’t feel empathy or don’t come by it naturally. Without empathy, how can we understand what the marginalized and the suffering go through? Social scientists believe that empathy originates, evolutionarily, as a series of “prosocial” behaviors, essential glue that helps humans stick together for increased survival.

Yet, more recently, psychologists and neuroscientists alike have begun to take a radically different stance on the empathy-is-good line of thinking. In fact, over-empathizing might be making us emotionally burned out and unwell, leading to such states as “compassion fatigue,” or “secondary trauma,” which affects first responders and caregivers at higher rates. In these states, a person can begin to feel numb, depressed, anxious, or even inexplicably angry.

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[DIGEST: IFLScience, Science Daily, The Telegraph]

Violent video games have long been blamed for desensitizing players to violent imagery, and leading to real-life aggression. This notion may finally be put to rest, according to a new study published by Frontiers in Psychology, which found that playing certain violent video games has no long-term effect on a person’s empathy.

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