I was listening to the radio a couple of weeks ago when all of a sudden, the broadcaster, very emphatically says, “Slow down everyone, slow down!”
She was referring to the large number of traffic accidents, which had occurred after our first local snowfall.
The discussion continued to the fact that nowadays, everyone seems to be under a time pressure.
“Why is everyone in such a hurry?”
The announcer then asked her audience to think about how impatient we get when we’re behind a slow driver. We huff and we puff, and perhaps we swear. Many will honk the horn and some people may even pound the steering wheel in frustration.
Yet, why may people be driving slowly?
There are a few possible reasons. They could be a new driver, or an older adult, a student driver or simply, someone who just doesn’t want to speed.
It dawned on me that this was a lesson in empathy. We were being asked to put ourselves into the other person’s shoes and to consider their perspective.
Next, I considered the busy lifestyle many of us lead; two parents working, children involved in extracurricular activities, teenagers with part-time jobs and so on. I also thought about the demands that people face at work, the data driven culture and decisions based on cold, hard numbers.
Reflecting further on the topic of the radio program, I wondered, “Where is room for the human side?” “What is happening to our ability take a pause to be more empathetic?”
It’s true, that as we continue to evolve as a species and as a society, we continue to learn. The turnover of information happens at lightning speed. We don’t want to ignore that for the development of our world is important.
However, it is important to ensure, at home and at work, we pay attention to the human nature of people and that we consider what it is like to walk in the shoes of another.
Decisions and actions, based on empathy, will create a rich and meaningful outcome for all.