What I learnt Inside a Big Glass Building (and a Happy New Year)!

Hello, 

Following bullet points are open to individual perspectives.

  1. This building is a machine. Its fuel is its people. It feeds on their soul.
  2. The only sounds are of beeping automatic locks of opaque glass doors, clicking of heels on an immaculately polished floor and remnants of quick phone calls made by humans who always seem to be in a hurry.
  3. Literally nobody cares. Breaks my heart.
  4. When people smile, they smile out of obligation, not choice.
  5. No love. It is like love arrived at this building’s door and turned away from all the malice.
  6. They’re nice to you because:
                  -they need you to get some work done.
                  -they are professionally obligated.
  7. No empathy. No one even tries to foster any. People make zero efforts to reach out. Zero.
  8. If someone senses you’re distressed, they’ll freeze and become unreachable. 
  9. You have to get used to eating meals alone. I’m sure everyone hates it the same, yet no one barely makes an effort to fix it. 
  10. Cafeterias are some of the scariest places in the world. 
  11. The moment it feels like they’re being too nice to you- be wary, there is some ulterior motive. 
  12. Nothing about the question, ‘How are you?’ is ever, even vaguely concerned with your well being but is asked solely to skip to the real purpose behind seeking you.
  13. You never make friends inside glass buildings. You only get to know a few strangers. 
  14. There is an abysmal lack of human warmth inside this glass castle. Poker faces, frowns, heads bent deep in cell phones or glued to a big screen pepper the hallway 24/7. 
  15. Everyday, I look around and I’m appalled by how badly we, as human beings- the one animal capable of nursing so much joy and affection- have fucked up. We really truly did. Maybe my quarrel really is with the state of the world- and not the glass building. If that is the case, I have a long battle to fight. 

 I miss greeting a face which is happy to see me. 


We have been together for so many years, thank you for being my constant companions.  I hope my blog helped you in some way, or made your heart slightly warmer, or gave you hope where you couldn’t find one.

Let us promise to do our parts in healing through art, through love and by being ourselves. Happy New Year guys. Wish you the best year of your life so far.

Thank you for everything, truly. See you on the other side. 

 

Love always,

Your Blogger. 

About Empathy

lighthouse-2028507_960_720

Let me ask you a question.

How many times have you been on the receiving end of someone ‘venting out’ stuff on you?

Have you ever been elevated to this role model of impossible empathy that you can no more find people understanding that maybe, at times, you need a friend like that too?

I once read somewhere that you cannot serve with an empty heart. You need to be emotionally balanced enough to soak in the imbalances of others. And frankly, helping people lighten their load, if only by being a patient listener, is what humans, as a community is all about.

That’s how we survive; helping each other, promoting each other’s growth, celebrating the victories, mourning the loses.

But the material point is, I’ve only ever found so many people willing enough to empathize these days. Sympathy? Yes, that is present in abundance. But empathy? The art of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and trying to actually feel their misery?

That is what lacks.

In taxing times, you don’t need people nodding at you and telling you the ‘wicked ways of the world,’ or that somewhere in extreme parts of the Earth people are starving; that doesn’t quite put their tumult to rest now does it?

We need more people bold enough to say, ‘I’m here for you if you need me,’ and brave enough to mean it. We need more people to re-establish other people’s faith in this morally declining world.

It’s hard being a vessel all the time. Vessel open to all forms of lamentations, grief, agitation and pain and still manage to uphold the countenance of a calm face, comforting eyes and an understanding touch.

But hey, I’m here to tell you it is okay.

I’ve been on receiving end of the laments of a lot of different people. I’ve been the receiving end of the adults in my family.

I’ve tried my best empathizing with people 30 years ahead of me. I’ve heard my much younger friends and tried my best to console.

I’ve listened to strangers online. I’ve even maintained a tolerable disposition in front of people I generally dislike.

But.

I’ve also seen people get gradually distracted and lose sense of the conversation when I’m at the pouring end. I’ve also seen people fidgeting with their cell phone while I eventually, with a few hesitant, muffled words succumb to silence. I’ve seen people lose interest when the conversation is no more revolving around ‘them.’

I’ve also noticed general apathy in the eyes of the receiver.

I’ve seen it and I’ve been quiet. Maybe that’s just how the world works. However, what I observed during this course was, people with the lack of a listening heart, often find solace within themselves. They crumble and crawl inside and eventually find rest within the comforting box of their own warmth.

Eventually, these people stop voicing out and get used, or rather comfortable, finding their peace within themselves. Or to take an extra daring step, maybe in a few pages of literature?


Can you guess why I chose a picture of a lighthouse with this post? Let me know in the comments.