This space is as dead as my ancestors. But it’s okay. No one visits this place. At least my ancestors get a visit at least once a year. HAHA. Just wanted to pen down some thoughts about this value that i really, really believe everyone should have.
People often confuse empathy and sympathy. Simply put, empathy is the ability to share someone else’s feelings whereas sympathy is the feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else’s circumstance/misfortune. Having sympathy for someone doesn’t necessarily mean that you EMPATHISE with the person. Having sympathy merely means that you feel pity for that particular person but it doesn’t mean that you know how that person feels, or understand the reasons behind their decision. In my opinion, sympathy seems to imply that you are in a more advantageous situation/superior position where you feel for the person simply because you think you are better off than the other person.
Sometimes we are quick to pass judgement.
“WTF, why is this person tailgating me?”
“Walao, why this person walk so slow one.”
Admit it. We all have that person we secretly want to smack because they are not doing things according to what we want, according to our expectations, according to what we perceive should be socially acceptable. However, what right do we have to think that our standards are the correct ones?
The driver behind you may be tailgating you because he needs to attend to something urgent (maybe his loved one is in a critical condition). The person walking so slowly in front of you may still be recovering from a leg injury and cannot afford to walk at the speed that YOU think should be acceptable.
If everyone could just be more tolerating towards one another, be more gracious, I think our society would be a much better place. Before passing any judgement, it would be nice if we could just take a moment to put ourselves in the shoes of the other person and understand why they did what they did. Then there would be less negativity, less gossip and less conflicts.
Empathy is such an important value to have both at home and at work, no matter what your role is, be it as a parent, as a child, as a manager or as a subordinate.
But, it is important to practise empathy in moderation. WHY? Because there is always a minority of selfish and cunning people who like to take advantage of others. They take you for granted and exploit your kindness for their own benefit. So while it is really important to have empathy, please save it only for those who deserve it.
Bottomline: Do no harm, but take no shit