Irony is when we judge others as lacking empathy

Until we learn
to receive…

No.

Until we learn
to let others
give
to us…

No.

Until we learn
to realize empathy with ourselves
in a way
that gives us the courage
to admit
that we need others
to give to us,

Until then,
we can get stuck
lending
despite intending
to give.

Sometimes
we ask
“Am I doing
enough?”

Forgetting to ask
“Enough
to what?”

Without the answer
to the second question,
our sense of progress
can be
unclear.

Once
our sense of progress
becomes
clear,
the first question
may become
unnecessary.

We realize empathy
when we empathize
with someone
or something
we previously could not,
while experiencing a moment,
where we go
“Ah ha!”
“Ah…” or
“Ha ha ha!”
concerning something
we either did not
or had incorrectly assumed to
understand
or appreciate fully.

“They’re going to be quick
to blame me.”
said the founder,
worrying
of their employees’ backlash.

“How would it be different,
if you were quicker?”
I asked.

“What do you mean?”
he asked.

“How would it be different,
if you were even quicker
than them?”
I asked again,
with emphasis.

“Quicker?”
he asked.

“…”
I sat there,
silent.

“You mean if I were to blame myself
before they did?”

“…”
I waited.

Silence ensued.

“… You’re talking about
taking responsibility.”
The reply came back,
eventually.

“That’d be very different.”
he continued.

If
1 + 1 = ?
is a problem

and

“This is a lie.”
is a paradox,

a problem often implies
the method—
in this case
addition
—with which to solve
the problem,

while a paradox
does not.

If you mistake
a paradox
for a problem,
the more time you spend
applying the method
you think
will solve the problem,
the more time
you may spend
staying stuck.

When we lose
our startup.

Many stories
arise.

One
is that we
have failed.

At what exactly?

Just because
that company
was not the company
with which you achieved
what you wanted to achieve,
it doesn’t mean
there will be no other company
with which
to do so.

The loss of your startup
does not equal
the loss
of your life’s work.

In fact,
it may equal
the gain
of the knowledge required
to do your life’s work.

The question may be
what
your life’s work
is
and are you willing
to continue
it.

Validation
has somehow become
a dirty word.

So has attention.

It’s as if
seeking validation
or attention
is shameful.

Human beings need
validation
and attention.

Without it,
we’ll die
a slow death.

It’s one thing
to suggest behavioral changes
as to how
when
and from whom
people seek validation
or attention.

It’s quite another
to shame
the human need
for attention
or validation.

This may only increase
the tension
living inside
humanity,
and, in turn,
may either provoke
the very behaviors we dislike
or merely make it
less visible,
and perhaps,
as a result,
make it,
more
dangerous.

“Do you know
what my co-founder told me?.”
the founder asked,
rhetorically.

If you want to go fast,
go alone.
If you want to go far,
go together.”
he smirked,
before continuing.

“He doesn’t seem to realize
that there are few times
when I feel more alone
than when I’m together
with him.”

Despite
best intentions,
what we say
out of care,
concern,
or worry,
can be perceived
as aggression
by others.

photo_2020-03-20 23.56.54

“Lights On” / Seung Chan Lim (Slim) / March 20, 2020 / North Columbus Dr., Chicago, IL

 

As doth
a streetlight,
being there
for each other
with their lights on,
with nary a guarantee
of the future,
we
will get through this.

 

p.s: Economically speaking, startups are being hit more seriously than I had expected. Thus, until May 18th, I will be providing free-of-charge executive coaching sessions to all Founding CEOs with the heavy responsibility of making payroll for 5 or more employees. Click here to sign up. Feel free to share it with those in need.