I started to add a daily coping tip to the SQLServerCentral newsletter and to the Community Circle, which is helping me deal with the issues in the world. I’m adding my responses for each day here. All my coping tips are under this tag.
Today’s tip is to remember we all struggle at times as humans.
Empathy is a feeling that I suspect many people would like to have. Or maybe not. I know some people seem to have little and not want to give any to anyone outside their family. Or maybe even their family.
To me, I think it’s important to look at the world from other points of view, and consider how others feel. During this last year, a lot of my pandemic talks with people are remembering to counsel them to remember their view isn’t mine. Nor is it many others.
Today, what’s on my mind is Simon Biles. She withdrew from Olympic competition recently. This was a hot topic in the volleyball group I am a part of with other coaches. I was amazed by the very polar opposite reactions from people. Some empathized and applauded her for talking about mental health and the impact it has. Others castigated her severely for not competing no matter what.
Both are valid views, though I think one ignores empathy. It ignores that we are human and we can struggle. I don’t know what the best choice was, but I respect someone else’s ability to make that choice.
I had a kid quit during a match. The moment become too big for her and walked off the court, leaving the game, abandoning her teammates. At that moment, my first thought was concern for her. Actually, first thought was who goes in and how we manage the game, but as soon as I had a sub, I was concerned.
We coaches talked with her after, and know that difficult times in life are hard. They are difficult. There are reasons to stop, and in our mind, this wasn’t one. She wasn’t in physical harm, and she could have played a different role, or let us change her responsibilities ,but walking away wasn’t a good response. Ultimately, she had to apologize to everyone for what happened. We forgave her, moved on, and competed the next time.
In another situation, maybe walking off makes the most sense. There’s a balance between commitment and self-preservation, and I don’t think this case was the latter.
However, the point today in coping is to remember everyone else is coping. They are coping in different ways, and with a different world. They live a different life. I want to help, support, counsel, and even push them. They have responsibilities, and are accountable, but they are also human.
I have empathy for them, and try hard to understand the world from their view.