It seems obvious, once you think about it. Isn't that why people read fiction? To escape their own lives? But it's not just escape. When we escape our own lives and dive into someone else's, we have to leave behind our way of looking at things. At least to some extent. The really good writers can even make you look at things in the opposite way that you would in your everyday life. They establish a place and characters that you fall into, that you trust, and then they turn you on your head and make you realize something truly profound. But it doesn't have to be that momentous. It can be something small and personal, that every person will experience differently. And I believe that all writing is capable of this. Should, in fact, be striving for it. What a wonderful thing, to help someone see something in a new way, to help them experience something that they otherwise would not--perhaps would never even consider.
In this way, writers can help readers everywhere become more empathetic to their fellow human beings . . . sometimes, in ways that they never even thought possible. And that is truly something worth striving toward.