To Empathise is to lose yourself

Empathy cannot be found in conference room strategy sessions because conference rooms are designed to be comfortable. Sometimes there is pain involved.

Empathy is what you feel when an e-commerce company asks you to redesign the logistics office used by the delivery boys, and you ask for the average weight of a delivery bag, strap it on and walk around the block, feel the ache in your bones and the cramp in your neck and try so very hard to make life easier for yourself.

You find yourself solving the problem because it bothers you and you cannot imagine living with it day in and day out, just to make a living.

You feel what your customer does, even if it is for a moment.

Get the crappiest data plan, empty your wallet, dress like a bum, get out into the boondocks and try and make your way home using that app you designed – to get people home.

You will find that empathy often presents itself as a slap in the face.

Such a beautiful word and such a selfish thing.

It seems to only manifest when you feel for others – as though you would solve problems only if they were your own.

And it is beautiful because, to find the other – you have to first lose yourself.