Empathy Before Money?
This is indeed challenging in a world (still) bent on money. The challenge is to make ’empathy’ more worthy in the stakeholders’ perception.
Money at second place
This may seem too idealistic to be viable. Does the money not always prevail? “Cash is king” and “Money makes the world go round”?
So, will people who put empathy first not be pushed out of competition?
What is money?
Eventually, money is as much a perception as is empathy. This will become even more straightforward in the future. In comparison with empathy, it’s worthwhile to put money in this perspective. Doing so places both on one line so they can be compared directly.
No longer are they coming from two incompatible universes.
Money is the abstract currency for energy making possible human-centered accomplishments. The person with money can use this energy towards his personal choice of accomplishments in highly flexible ways.
For instance, if he wants to build an empathic organization, he can spend money on that.
For instance, if he wants to throw his money into ego-gratification, he can also do so.
Money becomes more than a perception only when it is spent.
Empathy is more than a perception only when it is felt and realized ― put into action.
In this regard, empathy is not more ephemeral than money.
No magic involved
Empathy – and its in-depth big brother, Compassion – works only through people, of course. To make it real, you need to show this context. As with money, your audience needs to ‘feel’ the energy.
For instance, in an organization, how is empathy transformed into accomplishment? How can stakeholders decide to ‘invest in empathy’?
This is always necessary, whether through philanthropy or risk capital investment. Empathy needs to be ‘sold.’ This demands a lot of insight and work, especially since empathy (and, possibly, Compassion even more) is not easily put into numbers.
In this regard, empathy is more ephemeral than money.
But in a way, empathy is also ‘closer’ than money.
Empathy – and Compassion! – is what one can feel deep inside. It cannot get any closer than that. The main issue is that many people are not readily aware of their layers-in-depth.
Empathy gets sold by making stakeholders aware of its existence as what it truly is and means and, through this, its resemblance to that other manifestation of energy ― oh yes, money.
Here’s the challenge!