“We do this thing. We open our hearts to the world around us. And the more we do that, the more we allow ourselves to love, the more we are bound to find ourselves one day.” -Stuart McLean
Emil is a homeless man living on the streets. He comes to meet Morley, a generous woman who is determined to help Emil. Morley impacts Emil’s life, and he unknowingly impacts hers too. Perhaps it is fated, or perhaps it is simply a miracle. In Stuart McLean’s “Emil”, Morley comes to understand that differences in social status does not determine one’s ability to be empathetic. The hard truth is, not everybody is empathetic. It is not always something that comes naturally to people. As you can see, Dave and others are not as understanding as Morley is regarding Emil’s situation. Dave says, “If he gets money, he buys cigarettes and lottery tickets. And I’m sure he loses the tickets. Why would you give someone money so they can throw it away on lottery tickets they are going to lose?” (114). Morley, on the other hand, gives Emil the benefit of the doubt. She puts in effort daily and attempts to make his life better. Those who place stereotypes of homeless people on Emil never get to understand and truly see through to his personality and interests because they already assume what kind of person he is. Morley decides to look past all the stereotypical descriptions and befriends him. She notices Emil’s passion for plants, and asks, “Do you have a garden?”, simply out of curiosity (116). This action may not seem out of the ordinary; however, for Emil, it means everything. His pure identity of being a gardener causes his friend, Morley, to want to see him. The real him. I believe this story displays a beautiful connection built up by empathy towards one another, regardless of their social class. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt, putting in an effort to understand them, being non-judgmental towards appearances are all things we are capable of doing. Help someone change their life for the better, because most of the time, it will change yours too.