Let me share a real story with you, I heard this from my uncle who is no more.
One day while my uncle was having his evening tea, he observed the street dogs were barking horrendously. To find out what’s this all about, he saw there are four street dogs barking in the direction of a Hanuman (a giant Indian monkey) who has somehow climbed the roof of another house and is waiting for his next movement. The monkey looked a little terrified by the severe barking of the dogs and jumped into the street.
The moment it jumped, all the dogs gave the monkey a chase. The monkey ran for a while and climbed an electric pole. On reaching the top, the monkey somehow got an electric shock and fell straight down.
Something strange happened as my uncle came down to the rescue of the monkey.
The monkey is lying unconscious in the street and the dogs have stopped barking. All four of them are standing together with pin drop silence. Not a single dog barked after the monkey fell down from the pole.
My uncle called in a couple of neighbours and together they decided to do some first aid for the monkey. They carried the unconscious monkey and kept the body next to the wall of a house. Then they took a blanket and wrapped it around the monkey’s body. One neighbour brought a water pipe and connected it to a tap, so they can spray some water while keeping safe distance. Bananas were arranged for moral encouragement.
Now the neighbours sprayed water on the monkey through the pipe, while the four dogs watch the rescue operation from a distance.
They sprayed water for sometime without success. The monkey lies unconscious and lifeless. The dogs are standing and their grief is evident.
In some time, the monkey gains consciousness. It didn’t move but the first thing it did was to remove the blanket. He grabbed one banana and slowly started walking.
Now something amazing happened. The dogs came closer to the monkey and started licking it. The monkey fell down and generously allowed the hospitality . In some time, it free’d itself, bid good bye to the dogs and walked away. The dogs followed the monkey until it disappeared.
This is a very good gesture of sensitivity shown by the street dogs. The dogs who were considering the monkey a threat realizes that the monkey is harmless and in deep trouble. The moment this realisation occurs, the dogs show their sensitive side and not the aggressive side. Later, the dogs realize that the monkey needs care and they shower their love on the monkey, perhaps conveying the message that the previous gesture of resistance was driven by instinct and not driven by knowledge of a subject’s situation.
Empathy or sensitivity is within all of us. None is an exception.
We are often aggressive towards a subject but the moment we realize that the subject is harmless and itself needs help, we show our sensitive side. The choice of showing sensitivity is often a communication problem, one subject fails to communicate with another in a proper way. The need of empathy is not communicated and the opposing party considers you a threat and offers resistance.
In your workplace, school or Family, you will see subjects who want you to be sensitive towards them (irrespective of your or their position/power). Your spouse, your children, your colleagues or friends – you will find that monkey who needs your empathy. It is possible that he is unable to express his need or there are other barriers, but the need of empathy and sensitivity is a common need of any living being, not just humans.
Before you choose to offer resistance, it might be a good idea to understand the subject and see if he actually needs some care. Different subjects may appear as threats (your boss, your co workers, your friends) but it is possible that they need your love and empathy, not resistance. It is possible that the aggression they are showing is just because of an emotional state of assumption they have about you.
Before you resist someone, think for a while. What is the emotional state of this person? Is he in distress? Does he need your sensitivity? Can you not solve the situation without offering resistance? Can you solve the situation with care and love?
If the other party is offering resistance, don’t counter resist by default. Try to be sensitive, understand the emotional needs and take the subtle approach of love. Empathy is a core need of any human being and being empathetic towards anyone will resolve most of the day to day conflicts we have in our lives.
Don’t be that dog who barks without even understanding the monkey in the first place. Be sensitive towards a subject.