simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
- leonardo da vinci

I want to teach Empathy, so I am thinking of taking the approach of becoming a researcher and publish a book to become the expert in the subject so that people listen to me, I told Kinneri as I sat across her. I want to be the go-to person for Empathy much like Brene Brown is for vulnerability and shame. Ever since the Pradyuman case happened in India, there is an inner voice that tells me something is wrong with society and so I must do something to change it.

In my opinion, the current world lacks Empathy. And the answer to world peace could be Empathy. Empathy is about connecting with self as well as other living beings. Man learnt ages ago that loneliness would kill him hence he formed society to feel belongingness (there is a major difference between loneliness and solitude; the latter is important for growth and connecting with self). But with evolution society changed to a great extent where we all are competing for validation by keeping up with the Joneses. But this style of fighting for belongingness is rather killing us instead of helping us connect with each other. Somewhere we seem to have lost the essence of connection. It has become more superficial than soulful. As a result, we have a crowd to have fun but no single friend to share our shame story. You are truly blessed if you have a friend who walks with you in your vulnerability.

It is interesting that the psychology of happiness states that the determining factor of happiness is our relationships and not our work or ambition. I don’t mean to deny the joy one could derive through work but even someone who loves his/her work may at some point look for relationships to feel love, care & belongingness. To sum it up, true & soulful connection with another living being (human, animals or plants) leads to true happiness.

Empaths tend to lead better quality of lives because they are capable of forming true connections. Hence, they also make better leaders. The situation with which we are dealing today definitely proves that the world needs better leaders.

Back to my urge of teaching Empathy. I have no idea how I can do that because I am not a social scientist, I am an Architect. So, Kinneri asked me why I want to take the approach of publishing a book and being out there instead of doing it in a more subtle way. I love grandiose and until I do something in a grand, larger than life way I don’t feel like I have made a statement or created an impact. As usual she asked ‘Why is that?’ and I had no clue.

She asked me to picture that I have accomplished the goal of creating an Empathetic world. So, when I die my soul goes around to see how people feel about my death but I discover that it doesn’t affect them, they are carrying on with their chores, how do I feel?

I felt disappointed!

This is the problem when we do something for others with the expectation of appreciation instead of doing it out of happiness. The who’s who of the world are teaching us to lead a life of purpose and according to them the purpose should be contribution to society. But most people really don’t care about the work you do for them because they are busy surviving and dealing with their own issues, rightfully so.

Therefore contribution to society has to come from a very authentic place otherwise it can lead you to dissatisfaction & depression. Therefore the starting point of leading a meaningful life is by  tending to your inner needs and be happy & satisfied so that when you set out to do something no limitations can stop you. And that’s when you can actually create true impact. When there is no expectation from others there won’t be disappointment.

I learnt that I have some more work to do on myself before I embark on that journey of being the ambassador of Empathy. Or who knows along the way, the universe might show me another path to achieve the same intent in a much different way. The goal is to put my intent out there and the rest will fall in place with time.

It was my husband’s 41st birthday yesterday and my brother-in-law asked him to share one learning from his journey so far; he said “PATIENCE is a virtue! It takes time to get things done so we must practice patience, we must just keep doing our bit and with time everything will sort itself.” I clapped at that. It meant quite something to me.

That’s when I realized I keep looking for inspiration and motivation from the famous people but in reality all of us have heroes in our near & dear ones to whom we don’t pay as much attention as we should and as much as they deserve. That somewhere leads us to continue chasing the distorted perception of achievement. Stay grounded, stay close to yourself and your relationships. Then your life will feel accomplished without the need for any validation from society. Life is meant to be simple and joyful; we complicate it unnecessarily. Simplicity is indeed extraordinary and therefore hard to achieve!

No wonder I feel so much pressure when I want to do things in a grand way. My soul isn’t in alignment. It loves simple and subtle. And this realization liberates me! I feel so free and happy.

Much Love,

Rashhmi Yadav


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