Thursday, July 19, 2012

Empathy as a Practice

"We are so incredibly different, but we're really not, because all we want to do is decrease world suck."
- Savannah Brown (savanamazing)

So I'd like to think I often go out of my way let others have theirs. Normally that's fine with me, to the point that it has been said countless times that I seem passive to others. However, there are times when others take things too far. It gets annoying when others have the notion that giving them the right of way has become part of your duty. I'll be the first to admit that I'm probably cursing under my breath when others take things for granted or even attempt to take advantage of it.

People get tired. I guess everyone has a different threshold for different things. I always hate it when I have to finally draw the line on a certain matter, because by then I know that something has got the best of me and it's very difficult to place my confidence back on someone who has a track record of acting like an ass.

I've said to some friends before that everyone should work as a service provider at some point in their lives. By that, I mean anything that involves direct interaction with paying customers, such as technical support, customer service or even a post in the fast food industry. It's easy to gain some valuable perspective when part of the job is to practice empathy.

There's a fine line between assertiveness and arrogance, and I feel that trying to deal with frustrated people on a daily basis is an excellent way of honing the ability to distinguish the two. Seeing the world from the eyes of a service provider would provide someone with a certain appreciation for the field.

What I'm trying to say is that we have to appreciate people whose job is to make sure things are better for us. There's no point in flipping out on these people, because believe it or not, they already have plenty of problems on their own and no one really needs a war on two fronts.

Be thankful that there are people who take up the duty to decrease how the world sucks for you.

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