“Click…” was the last thing I heard when my dad hung up the phone.
After I gathered enough balls to anticipate the verbal lashing to follow, I finally told him. I quit my engineering job and it felt damn good. I knew he wasn’t going to be very impressed. That’s to be expected right? That phone conversation left me emotionally drained and exhausted. I had my elbows leaning on my knees. My fingers intertwined in a prayer position. I had my head down. I let out a loud “Sigh…” under my breath.
I felt heavy-hearted and quite frankly, a little angry. Can anyone relate to this?
At first, I felt a little bit of resentment towards my father. “Doesn’t he understand that I hated my job?” was my initial emotional reaction. I thought it was totally fair. I didn’t want to trade my time for money for something that I didn’t give a fuck about. I was sick and tired of solely existing.
I wanted to fill my time with something that truly matters to me.
My dad had been in the engineering industry for over 3 decades. I think he did pretty well. With that career, he was able to raise a family and provide sufficiently. I had to say, we lived a very comfortable life. On top of that, he’s travelled and seen the world for training purposes. Engineering is what paid for my school, put a roof over my head and food on my plate.
He wanted the best for me, and engineering is what he knew best.
Looking back now, I realize self centered I was. Hindsight is always 20/20 right? My opinion about the situation was completely one sided. Why? Because I didn’t have compassion towards the situation, let alone my father.
So why is it important to have compassion?
Compassion stems from awareness of what other find valuable within your personal boundaries. How do you do this? By being present and being in a tranquil mental state. It’s a lot easier to make good judgement with a clutter free mind. If you desire compassion, consciously pay attention to what other people are communicating to you. Usually this is hard when you’re trying to find a great message between the screaming and angry words.
If you understand people’s mindset, it’s a lot easier for compassion to exist. Find the quiet area in your noise filled mind. Slow down down your breathing and allow yourself to enter a calmer state. It’s difficult but not impossible for you to train your mind to do this. Ask yourself why they think the way they do? What often seems like a problem with the person, usually has something to do with the situation they are in.
Putting other people’s needs ahead of yours is a genuine place for compassion Open and honest communication is so important. If there are gaps in between your message, you’re leaving room for assumptions to exist. You’re allowing the other person to fill in the blank based from what they know of you and the situation.
Tiny resentments and other negative feelings slowly build up. That sounds like disaster waiting to happen which eventually drives people apart.
That sucks man.
Without compassion, you’ll have a tough time receiving feedback from other people. Your perception of their message will be twisted and short sighted. You might assume they’re coming from a different place therefore you feel like your ego is being attacked. A typical reaction would be to start building emotional defenses and lash back.
Despite how close your relationship is with other people, they’re not mind readers. Neither are you. Have compassion and take the time to find out what other people find valuable. Once you’ve done that, then you can tailor your message to suit. If you give the information the right way, the person will receive the information the way you intended it to be.
Developing compassion, in my opinion, will make you a more emotionally balanced person. Deep insights will come from a thorough and honest internal inventory. Now you have all different perspectives you can experience by going through other people’s ideas and experiences.
Why should you do this?
Because other people are the most important thing in the universe, once you’re past this life.