In-Spiration Challenge: Embrace Empathy

It has been awhile since I have posted anything on our blog. It’s partially due to the hectic work schedule that I pushed myself through the last several weeks. It’s also due to the design of our blog post schedule so we can continue to deliver quality content more efficiently.

Then, Charlottesville happened this weekend. It changed what I initially planned for this week’s theme.

This week we are going to focus on empathy.

Empathy is a skill that I am proud to possess, something instilled by my mother. It is also something often overlooked in the business world. It’s thought to be a weakness. It’s a symbol of status to be able to turn away those who cannot afford your product. It means you are a luxury brand; it’s exclusive.

However, this can not only be a disconnect from untouched target markets, but it can and has become dangerous. By making people believe that they are better and deserve superior treatment to everyone else, we begin to encounter anger when they are treated the same of everyone else.

Think about it

We see it every day in customer service and sales. There will be some customers that are calm and understanding when faced with a small mistake like the wrong coffee order. Mistakes are human and the coffee is remade. Then, there are the customers that throw a fit. They insult. Sometimes they yell. They also get a new cup of coffee, but who do you think those employees look forward to seeing again? Who will get the more active customer service?

The calmer customer displayed empathy, understanding, and they are the ones that will earn the loyalty of the many. The other is a product of culture telling them “You are inherently worth more and you don’t need to understand those considered below you.” Then, when they’re not treated with the utmost care, they get angry.

That is what we see now but on a larger and more dangerous scale. We are now faced with an entire group of people that were told they were better, deserved more, and who believe that power is being taken away just because some else wants to be treated with equality.

As business people and as people who control the image of society in the media, we have an obligation to condemn this behavior. We must show that we will no longer stand for this lack of empathy toward other cultures. We are all equal human beings who deserve to be respected, not threatened or forced into the shadows. Now is the time to understand one another, love one another.


The Challenge

So, my challenge for every one of my readers is to spread compassion. Display kindness. Express empathy towards those targeted by this hatred. Create an atmosphere at your business that embraces different cultures and ideas. Most importantly, do not show indifference.

Elie Wiesel once said, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.”

Take a stand. Invest in love and empathy.

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