A Masterwork on Empathy – To Kill a Mockingbird
Posting this in honor of Harper Lee’s birthday today (April 28, 1926–February 19, 2016).
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Gregory Peck speaks these lines as Atticus Finch to Mary Badham as his daughter Scout in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird. They take hold as you watch the film.
Through the children we experience innocence and fear. Through the adults we experience prejudice and hate, but also compassion and love. Time and again the story invites us to understand each character’s point of view.
Six-year-old Scout drives the message home when she tells her father, “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”
To Kill a Mockingbird is the ultimate invitation to empathy. That is what makes the book and the film masterworks.
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