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.



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