“This is a wonderful planet, and it is being completely destroyed by people who have too much money and power and no empathy.” – Alice Walker
About ten years ago I had a life altering experience occur. Unfortunately at the time I did not view this event as a positive, but I do acknowledge and accept that I must shoulder 100% of the blame for it. What happened is not important. What has happened because of the result of this situation is.
I asked in one of my post recently “if you were the King or Queen of the forest, had a magic wand, or one wish left in the genie’s lamp what would you change about the world and why?” Patty, who has followed and encouraged me since I began blogging seven months ago offered this response to my question; “I think I would have people change their lives for a day. Maybe then we all could understand each other better and we all start caring for the next to you, regardless his/hers story.”-Patty
That event ten years ago changed my life, honestly all aspects of my life with the exception of two, my heart was still beating and I was still breathing. At that moment, and for several months worth of moments, I did not view this as a positive development so late in my life. Everything in my world was turned upside down which included my career and my relationships. I took Patty’s wish beyond a single day into several years worth of days, and I still feel the effects of those changes even to this day.
As my world changed around me, so changed my perception of my place in the world. Where I was going was no longer as important as where I was. Who I should be wasn’t as relevant as who I am. I discovered, through an unfortunate chain of events, that I wasn’t living my true life. I was trying to conform to an image expected of me by my friends, my peers and the business community I operated within. Unfortunately, this lie, the lie that I was living, finally caught up with me.
When I lost my relevance, when my self-importance was taken away from me I saw the world differently. I was moved from the center to the edge, a place where many reside, and a place where many are hidden from view. Not only does the world look different from the margins it treats you differently as well. There is little power and a faint voice in this space. People operate from the outside looking in, while those “in” look away. But I see it now, I see all that I had overlooked or chose to ignore. I am only sorry it took so long.
As I wrote before, I did not view what happened to me as a positive event in the beginning but I have learned to find the positives in each day. I have learned to appreciate the new vision, insight and perspective I have been granted and I have embraced the new me, my true self, a happier self and a healthier self. I got Patty’s wish of a change, a change I wish I could have discovered along a different path, but gifts, true gifts are not always wrapped in pretty boxes with big shiny bows.
“Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.” – Daniel H. Pink