Coffee Musings: Empathy

I came across a BBC article this week over my morning coffee that brought me to tears, which, honestly isn’t that hard to do.  But, this one was particularly emotional, because it’s something I talk about all the time and have experienced first-hand.  The article recounts how one CEO made the bold, somehow controversial decision to take a massive pay cut so that he could pay all of his employees a living wage.  That living wage – $70,000.

The results were absolutely life changing.  Literally!  And, what’s perhaps most shocking of all in the entire thing is that lives were changed simply because one man woke up, made a conscious effort to put himself in others’ shoes, saw very real hardship and heartache in the massive disparity and injustice that was a problem that he himself was a part of, and decided to act.  That’s all, really.

Instead of talking and trying to work around the problem he found, or ‘business’ the realization into a savvy solution, he looked at the logical conclusion, the only conclusion, really, and actually MADE a change – If I make $$$, and they only make $, then we’ll split the difference, all make $$, and EVERYONE can live comfortably and without fear.

The point is simple – EVERYONE deserves a chance to LIVE.  No one person deserves it more than another.  No one deserves to feel less than or taken advantage of.

This is all headed toward a much greater conversation each of us needs to sit and have.  But, for the sake of this moment in my day, I’ll leave it at this.  We need more people to SEE and ACT.  Not debate and judge.  It’s not an economic or political view; it’s simply a matter of having a soul.  Don’t you think?

The human condition isn’t a symptom.  It’s what this whole thing is all about!  Feel.  Feel something.  And, always remember, everyone has a journey, and because we’re human, everyone has experienced or will experience real human hardships at some point.  It’s not up to you to judge or dismiss.

So, be kind and practice empathy.  That’s how we can all make a difference each and every day.  You and I may not be able to do what this millionaire CEO was able to do, but we can ALL make an effort to shift our frame of mind.  And maybe, that’s worth more in the long run.



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