when the unconcious peeks in the concious

when the unconcious peeks in the concious
Glimpses into eternity

Friday, 15 August 2014

On Empathy

When I first stepped as a nervous newbie in that school little did I know how far will helping others take me. My first day in a new school and a new city was horrible. I joined mid session in the month of  September. On the first day as I entered the class all the kids were playing as the assembly bell was yet to ring. I was all of nine and half years studying in 5th Standard. After assembly I was introduced formally and was made to sit in a bench in the last rows because of my height.

The first day was:

Me smiling a friendly smile at all.

All frowning back at me.

This went on for a month till the mid terms I used to sit in a corner and quietly do my work. The Mid Term elevated my status from a "New comer Nobody" to "One of the Toppers Somebody". Atleast people didn't frown the just returned my smile with a blank stare.

Then that day came: One of the classmates accidentally dropped his tiffin and I quietly forwarded my tiffin and said him to have it. He had his fill and I was a bit empty stomach but it felt good when he smiled looking at me and said "Thank You". This is what I wanted for so log a selfless smile at me.

It slowly became a pattern in the class. If a student got stuck in a particular chapter I explained it. If a person had a problem in Drawing I helped her. I was my Class' "Help and Advice Centre".

On a lighter not being benevolent was my USP. I was not an interesting company nor I was a beautiful company. So, what won me friends was my benevolence and empathy. 

My mother said that they were just using me and I was investing my time on them for nothing but I was using their smiles to bring me joy.

That was when being benevolent helped me to become a better human. I learnt to be more empathic towards people.

True I don't give alms to beggars because I believe in empathy and not in sympathy. My logic is till there is life in you be the light in you.

I have seen a blind man selling incense stick in front of the Railway Station. I buy them even though I don't use them. The reason: I am respecting his choice of not bowing to easier means of work.  

Swami Vivekananda once said - If you give a fish to a hungry man you fulfill his hunger for a single day but if you teach the man how to fish you solve his hunger for a lifetime.

Benevolence for me is understanding a person's problem and work together towards solving the problem in such a way that the problem never comes again and even if it comes we have the solution in hand or are ready to face it efficiently.

If I help a person, I address the process and not the output. For eg: If a person comes and says me to write an application for him or her in English because he cannot frame words properly I will guide him to frame the sentences and give him a basic understanding of sentence formation. It will take much more time compared to the process where I simply write the letter but in the long run it will be much more fruitful.

Kindness and empathy are two things which can never have a transactional value in terms of material. The only thing you expect out of being kind is the smile of the person whom you help.



36 comments:

  1. So nicely written Datta and so truly said too. Selflessness and not expecting in return goes a long way. Nice examples too.

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    1. Thanks Shweta, Agreed to what you said. :)

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  2. "Help and Advice Centre" We get that Datta. Hats off. Great principles and a great way of life. Always good to know such goodness around.

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    1. Thanks Anupam. Helping others sometimes helps you to become a better person

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  3. So touching, Datta. I'm thinking that it went for a month and if that tiffin would not have been dropped accidentally then they continue to behave as they used to? What were they looking for?

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    1. Thanks Ravish for dropping in. It was more of an in group and out group thing. I was new, unassuming, shy person who just smiled proactively, All most all of these people are still in touch with me. That feels good

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  4. So nice to know this side of you :)

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  5. I like your sympathy & empathy viewpoint, Datta.
    Nice to read your personal experience :) We really learn a lot in School...

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    1. Thanks Anita, yes, school teaches us so much more than just the syllabus

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  6. This is beautiful ... may the world follow the path of benevolence, helping and being with each other all the time.

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    1. Thanks Amrit...Hoping and praying for the same.

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  7. Kindness is becoming a rare virtue in our world.

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    1. Agreed Sir, but lets hope it stays there

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  8. Thank you for sharing. It's so good to learn about your experience. You walk your talk and there's so much meaning in your words Datta :)

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    1. Thanks Dear...that was one of the nicest compliments I have ever received

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  9. I like this thought of helping. Actually this kind of help is permanent..

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  10. Personal experiences are best teachers..teach u so much.. Well written

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  11. Yes, Datta, Doing things selflessly and helping others without expecting anything as you do may seem stupid to some. But it fills you with happiness and does keep the cycle of good going. Nicely penned.

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    1. Thanks Rachna, What you said is very right.

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  12. Wow this is really nice. I felt so glad knowing how you helped people become better at what they did rather than just helping them out. Feeling empowered is a better feeling than just doing the task and you seem to have done that. Really nice.. :)

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    1. Thanks Siddharth, your compliment means a lot. :)

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  13. That's a beautiful post for the wisdom it shares. The example of writing letter in English evokes so many thoughts. Glad I read it.

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  14. That was a nice read.. Loved your views on empathy Datta!

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  15. Nicely written and very true!

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  16. Learnt a lil about you today and a lot about humanitarian ...
    I am glad you were able to chime in and figure out how to break open the barriers .....

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  17. Thanks Vidhya, That was humbling. :)

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Started of as a brooding Introvert who wrote dark poems I thought I will die out by the time i reached my 20's but that did not happen. A loner who is in a job where we have to deal with people and I am just loving it. An infidel, a rebel to the social norm, I stood out as the perfect student, daughter, sister, wife, friend just don't know how...An awkward fashioniasta, A forced extrovert... I plan to retire early