As I finish this semester and reflect on this empathy exercise, I take my empathy observations to London this week. The main takeaway I observe is the acceptance of empathy is strongly shaped by our culture too. The British are often criticized as “too cold”, implying a lack of empathy towards others. On an unconscious level, one may have emotional reactions, yet one’s culture and environment may dictate the appropriateness to express these emotions. This in turn affects how empathetic one can be- I’ve noticed Americans tend to be more outgoing and engaged while British are more conservative and reserved. My partner and I talked about the ability to be empathetic by choice (beyond unconscious reaction) and it wasn’t until traveling that I noticed how important culture plays into this decision. Perhaps their acts of empathy are communicated more with action than verbally- now is that deemed more preferable? We also talked about the difficulties of reaction- culture and social norms are definitely key parts to driving this reaction and action of empathy as noticed across the pond.