He was on the train on a Sunday morning. At a station, a man and his children boarded. The children ran up and down the train car annoying riders, yelling, screaming and knocking papers out of readers hands. Finally, he could not stand the apparent disregard and discipline this Father was showing. He said the man, “Mister you need to correct your children, they are bothering the passengers.” The man looked up from his daze and took notice of the scene. “Oh, I’m sorry. We just left the hospital where their mother died about one hour ago. I guess they don’t know how to handle it and frankly I don’t either.” —Stephen Covey shared this experience in his book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. With new information about the man, Covey’s paradigm shifted from critical to empathy.
I am a fan of this concept and I have been applying it in my life. Two years back as a working mother, I had a crazy portfolio which often left me with a window of sleep from 2am to 6am on weekdays. It wasn’t enough of rest hours. On nights BoiBoy didn’t sleep through in this window, I felt helpless and often in tears as I offered him comfort of my patting.
One night, my intensifying emotions of helplessness sparked a sudden paradigm change. My perspective shifted from that of an employee (a victim of motherhood) to a Mother’s (enjoying bliss moments of motherhood). I felt so blessed to be able to provide comfort to BoiBoy when he needs it. The change in paradigm has such powerful impact, I couldn’t stop smiling though I had trouble keeping my eyes opened.
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