Jul 23, 2019, 06:28AM

The Art of Empathy

Why not care and love, and make everyone feel welcome?

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I parked my car in front of the dusty building and entered the hallway, leading to the store, through the arched door. The redesign made the shop look like Daedalus’ labyrinth. Exhausted, as soon as I saw someone, a girl dusting the books, I asked for Kashif, the owner of the bookshop. I was guided to reception; Kashif remembered me, but strangely greeted me with too much enthusiasm. He ecstatically browsed the shop gathering a staggering number of books he thought I’d enjoy. The book on the top caught my eye; The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck was lying on the top of that stack hoping that I would give enough fucks to read it.

I wasn’t surprised to see it on top. It wasn’t the first time someone had recommended that book; we all probably know someone who’d happily read it; or, we’ve seen it in the hands of various celebrities, perhaps trying to look cool. I had no intention of reading it.

Without buying anything from his stack, I strode off into the fiction lane and bought The Adventures of Tom Sawyer for a re-read. But on my way home, I was only thinking about The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck and wasn’t even slightly excited about Mark Twain’s masterpiece.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck just felt wrong to me: actually inhumane. I felt bad for people who read it and let it shape their personality in any way. The condition of humans today makes me ache. Particularly in the past few years, I’ve observed anger grow in people, ready to fight for the smallest aberration possible. Forgiveness is considered foolish and unwise. Revenge is the new norm. We don’t hesitate to reach far-fetched ugly conclusions, and harbor disgusting preconceived notions about people.

The benefit of doubt is no longer available to close friends and family. We’ve forgotten that we’re liable to make mistakes. We feel good ridiculing others. This has caused the suicide rate, especially among teens, to skyrocket. Rape and sexual harassment cases have increased despite harsher. The notion of love is considered dull; very few admire the beauty of this world. I’ve witnessed the death of romanticism. And in these delicate times comes Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck advocating that we shouldn’t give a rat’s ass about what others think.

I was told to make a difference in this world. This is impossible if we stop giving fucks; we need to love; we need to care more than ever. We need to look after individuals, communities and countries. We owe this to the world to make sure that we’re not hurting anyone. We need more people who can make others feel inspired and good about themselves. We need to be the ones who can pull the depressed out of the deepest abysses. I’d love it if friend or not, didn’t hesitate before asking my help. I hope to be the one who apologizes if I make a mistake. I’d like to be the one who does his best to make sure no one is sad at the end of the day.

I strive to never label a person. Why not care and love, and make everyone feel welcome? Let’s give a fuck and ensure that no one around us feels like he or she is out of place, or unwelcome. Let’s give all the fucks we can.


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