Have you ever known anyone who’ve made it difficult for you to decide if they are a kind or cruel person? If you have, I don’t need to explain any further do I?
For the rest of you, recently I was forced to make a decision about someone. I usually don’t have a lot of difficulty in clearing a good intention from a bad one, a kind person or cruel one, a person I would like to keep in my life or not. But this time, I realized I have been struggling to make this decision, because mainly he seemed to carry two complete different personalities:
A kind person, that wouldn’t even bear seeing me hungry, upset, cold or disappointed. If I had a slightest issue in any part of my life, he was there, he wanted to help me solve it. And the other, someone who would not call if you really needed them to talk to, someone who would be there when they wanted to, someone who would not give more than a certain amount, someone who would go silent when they were busy or needed some space. Someone, that would not give all of themselves..
I had battles with myself, going back and forth trying to decide if this person is a kind person or cruel. My friends around me kept insisting that he is cruel, and the rest is just being fake. But in my heart I knew that was not true. I could feel his kindness when he was one. And I could see how much he cared. He was a kind person, sometimes..
The question for me was, how a kind person like that, be so cruel and heartless in other times, how could my feelings don’t mean anything to him. I could not believe this would be possible. Until I realized what my mistake was:
I was seeing black and white again. I knew either a kind person or a cruel one. Until I tried to understand his train of thoughts, his path of actions, and see if I understand the pattern.
And I realized, most of my character judgments come from assumption, from previous boxes that I had created for people. Which might not work for everyone. The reality is, there are many factors that I had not considered and many more personalities that I had not yet met. And then it came to me:
He did kind things, because he was a kind person, but a kind person from his own point of view. He was kind when he thought he was supposed to be, when it was right in his mind. He was cruel when he thought it was a right thing to do. It was all because he himself thought it was a right thing to do. Strong, stable, quite admirable actually. What was missing here? Why didn’t this feel right to me, even though it carries the word integrity, and a great way to act?
The missing link was Empathy. He did not consider others opinions or feelings. He didn’t think even though he thought it was not needed to call, he might have been wrong. Until of course he was about to lose something or get into trouble. I realized why this whole system and behaviour didn’t feel right. He wouldn’t FEEL what I felt.
Empathy plays a bigger role in our lives than we realize sometimes. If you don’t know and feel empathy, you will be a machine that makes “right” choices. Forgetting the fact that no matter how “unreasonable” another soul’s emotions and feelings might look or sound, they matter, and they affect your life after,
Empathy brings people together in a more subtle way, and a more enjoyable way. You don’t always need to be right, but be human and feel what another person feels.
Being kind, or being right, or even being cruel, all becomes meaningless if you do not feel what another feels. Intention always shows its effect at the end, no matter how “kind” you have been in your life.
I tend to surround myself with people who have empathy and are kind, because they can not help themselves, not just because they think it’s the “right” thing to do. The “right” thing, might not worth doing when is hurting another soul.
Let’s feel each other, I’m just saying.