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You see your condominium neighbour locking her car door as you enter the lobby lift. You enter the lift first and wait for her to enter before going to your floor. You didn’t have to wait but you wanted to as you’ve been in a situation where

a) You were carrying lots of things from your car and didn’t want to wait ages for the lift to come when your arms felt like falling off

b) You’ve been in a jam for hours and all you need now is the bathroom and the lift to be open as you arrive

c) You’ve got to make it to your virtual meeting with your client and need to be in front of your laptop NOW

*however, if you’re encountering one of the scenarios above, you’re not expected to wait


You’re stuck in a queue in your bank for what seems like hours. You see the bank clerks faces becoming stony and zombie like as more time flies by. It’s past lunch time and it’s finally your turn. You greet and smile at them and see their faces soften. Even if they didn’t break into a smile, you feel the air around you lift. You could have been rude and zombie like just like them but you choose to smile because you guess

a) They’re short staffed and still have a KPI to maintain

b) You’ve been in a situation where your customers have been waiting their turn to see you and all you want to do is go home and see to your sick child

c) Wonder why you’re in a job you don’t enjoy doing


You’re running a sales team and sales hasn’t been great. Your staff are seen going out and meeting customers but the results aren’t seen immediately. You’re getting some warning signs from the management that your staff might get the sack and your job is in danger too. You could scream and shout at your staff and risk demotivating them even further and be seen as someone who has lost her marbles or you could sit down with them to restrategize and perhaps ask the management for sales training.

What do the three scenarios have in common? You. You can control how you feel and how you react to situations. Does being angry solve the problem immediately? Yes, in some cases, no, in most. Being empathetic and compassionate. These are 2 traits every human being should have to avoid:

a) killing animals in their own habitat or putting them in washing machines or abusing and neglecting them

b) abusing children or spouses or students or parents or staff

c) burning homes and killing families to clear the land for construction and modernization

d) creating war to get a country’s natural resources

How are you bringing up your children and students to be empathetic and compassionate? Are you training your staff to be so, as well?

If they’re not empathetic, how will they understand how a customer feels when they feel shortchanged? Are you showing that you’re listening and you understand without interrupting and judging your staff or your angry customer? Share your story.

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