“Sorry” does not mean you caused the pain.
It merely means that you see it, that you have felt pain before in your life as well, that you are open to a connection.
Our ability to bring people along is critical because we are playing a long game, even an infinite one.
Back and forth, day by day, with many of the same people, we are in it for the long haul.
When you see someone else’s pain, when you understand what they are going through, you are able to empathise more.
One day, it will be reversed, and a classmate or co-worker or competitor will be the one that can listen and care about your pain. A pain that might feel very similar.
Gloating about your superior position or silence about their pain closes the door.
Empathy, on the other hand, and the action of speech, of moderation, of connection, can change everything, it opens the door.
And if it has not been present before, it can start right now.
“I see you. I’m sorry for what you are feeling. How can I help?”
It starts with empathy, with understanding, with asking “How can I help?” then it proceeds to designing a solution with understanding, with warmth, with care, with humility.”
It starts with you, and then me listening and understanding your position and then both of us designing solutions that works.