A not very timely note

This was a blog I once wrote during my high school and early college years. I keep it around for nostalgic purposes, but it is quite obviously no longer updated. I am looking to make a more professional blog presence in the future, but I still like to look at where I was mentally at certain points in time.

- G. Jan 2013

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"The Gift of Empathy" by G.

So let's take a brief journey into imagination land, and plop yourself into this scenario. BAM! Your king/queen of the world. You have an infinite amount of money, resources, and power. You've always had everything; nothing was ever out of your reach. You do have everything, right? Not necessarily. The love of others. Their respect. These cherished gifts are not material, and cannot be bought. Having raw wealth is only one of the means to the end. Empathy is a powerful tool, and in a world with millions of people interconnected so heavily, it's vital.

A few months into writing this blog, I wrote a post simply titled "Smart". The basic idea was that intelligence can't be measured by some cookie cutter test; it's a constantly evolving concept. Different people have different talents; some less appreciated than others. Remembering a bunch of terms doesn't make you a genius; it means you have a sharp memory. In that post, I equated being smart to being very creative. It isn't usually the people who have the most knowledge that go the farthest, but the ones who are more creative and continue to persist. Once again, having the knowledge and power without having the people skills to deal with those around you makes that information in your head pretty useless. This is where empathy comes into play.

Do you know who we love to hear about? Ourselves. Who do we appreciate more? Someone who understands our troubles and our needs. Even with all the money and fame in the world, you cannot win loyalty and respect without putting in the effort to understanding other people. People who put this idea to work realize that by working to understand and help others, good fortune will naturally come their way. Strong bonds of friendship have been created by people simply willing to listen to what another has to say for a few minutes. That scenario I was talking about at the beginning? If all that wealth and power was stripped from you in that moment, what would you really have left? The one who had empathized with others in their time of need will find that people will be willing to come to their aid. That is the true measure of self worth. When people are willing to risk their assets and time helping you, because out of a sea of apathy you chose to pay attention. A person's net worth cannot buy a heart and mind.


Nothing Profound said...

Wonderful piece, well-written. Fully agree with your outlook on intelligence. How we live and treat others is the true intelligence test.

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

Interesting that you say intelligence cannot be measured.

Would you call an ant intelligent? I am told ants and many animals unlike humans are programmed. They follow a set pattern, eat and procreate. So are they any more intelligent than computers who are also programmed?

G. said...

@Nothing Profound

Thank you NP; always appreciate your visits!

@ L. Venkata

Well it can be measured to a certain degree, but that measure could never be a perfectly accurate representation of intelligence; it's too complicated to be summed up in a number.

The way you put it, they almost sound the same. But I think of intelligence as being able to solve problems and survive in creative ways. Could an ant or a computer deal with the unexpected in a rational manner? The ant is only as smart as it's "programming", and the computer is only as smart as the one who designed it.

That's just my take on it, but thanks for dropping in Venkata!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!