While the Fifth Precept of Buddhism does frown upon drinking, I found myself having a conversation about empathy with one of our members over a bottle of the said intoxicant. Jovial and humorous, I had found him to be rather intellectual, insightful and candid over the numerous conversations we’ve had at our events.
But unlike most, he was acutely aware of his own shortcomings, yet confident enough not to over-emphasise or hide those. He was open to different opinions, without being defensive yet worldly enough to always steer the conversation beyond money and risk – a trait as rare as humility in banking and finance.
True to the occupational hazard of being a matchmaker, I steered the conversation towards a potential match – someone who was intellectual, not esoteric, gutsy yet humorous – essentially the promise of a great heart, great conversation and someone who could spur him to lose more weight.
He asked how I could so accurately describe what seemed to work for him in a relationship or partner – and which he so readily felt with. My reply was simply – empathy. Not that it’s some superpower, just simply a basic life skill that I had thought everyone should build, and which in turn helps build harmonious relationships. Empathy takes time, takes understanding, takes acceptance and most importantly, takes a lot of mindset and love . Woke or boomer, we all need it.
While empathy builds harmony, it seldom builds wealth. Thus, a trait often overlooked and neglected. Over the many years in this business, our own anecdotal statistical models tell us this is as rare a trait as that mentioned earlier in finance. Sometimes our members get preoccupied in the finances or semantics of a date or relationship, and forget to tap on their empathy well.
At a date, feelings and thoughts get geared towards the “value” of the date, rather than the understanding that both parties have put both time and effort into the event. We’re constantly looking for things, and only see what’s in front of us, almost never ourselves. And unfortunately most times, how people see us, plays second fiddle to whether we like what we see or like what we hear.
The best analogy I guess, is in a not too distant past before viruses and all, for some of those in economy class who used to glare and tsk at that kids who screamed and kicked the seats in front, the epiphany of empathy arrives only at parenthood. In life’s journey, we only get so few chances to change for the better and finding that partner is one of those!
Join us at our next webinar to find out more!