The more you learn about people the more you recognize we contain multitudes and I’m not talking about the book that discusses the bacteria and microbes living within us. I’m talking about the rich tapestry that forms each and every single one of us.
Recently, I was consistently reminded of the Arabic saying, “to3raful ashya2u bia9’dadiha’ [things are known by contrasting them against others]. The lack of compassion and empathy that some people exhibited was only drowned by the overflow of compassion and empathy others showed. And while I sat thinking, why do some of us go through life with little regard to the sentiments of others, I realize we’re all guilty…guilty of apathy…that nebulous thing that’s slowly consuming us thanks to the deluge of tragic scenes behind screens as though those screens inoculate us from life’s adversities.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where we see ourselves as complex rich characters yet see others as binary beings; good or bad, kind or evil. Yet the reality is more complex than that.
We’re more like Snape than we would love to admit.
But where once you see people in singular roles, at some point you recognize they are much, much more than 3D bags of flesh and bones. They exist in 7D, with the first 4D delineating the physical and temporal space they occupy and the rest encompassing the heart, soul and mind.
And yet there are some people who treat others like they’re nothing but 2D flattened cardboard boxes…boxes that they clean their shoes against.
Seth Godin wrote a book called linchpin about being indispensable. In the book, he emphasizes the importance of people’s humanity when it comes to success in life. He defines art as the intentional act of using your humanity to create a change in another person.
The book comes to mind whenever you deal with people who sit behind their glass-topped desks saying things with little regard to how their words effect others, especially when the words coming out of their mouths sound something like, “We’re only following instructions. We’re only doing our jobs.”
But in retrospect, such behavior should make you happy…
Because as automation takes over the world, guess who’ll be the first ones to go?
Those who fail to inject empathy, compassion and humanity into their jobs.
“Obviously,” as Snape would drawl.