Dr. Vis Blog 5 – Grace and Compassion


I had written about grace while ageing on an earlier Blog.

What about grace when losing?

After all, in all contests, there can only be one winner, the other person has to be the loser.

When I saw the French Open finals, At the end of the game, I saw the winner and the loser coming together at the net and shaking hands. Whatever the jubilation of the winner (he may throw up the racquet or remove his shirt and throw it at the audience), he has an obligation to go upto the loser, eyeball him and shake his hands. There, in the eyes of the winner, I could see a tinge of sympathy for the loser! After all, the loser too had come through several punishing rounds of tennis to reach the finals. The loser also, with a tinge of regret and resignation in his eyes congratulates the winner with a whole heart. After all, it has been a fair game and a fair result.

If you think about this deeply, this beautiful act of accepting the result by both contestants, comes from an innate quality of compassion. Compassion can only happen where there is empathy. Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Simply stated, getting into the shoes of the other person!

 It is also claimed that it is our ability to love that becomes compassion.

 What about someone who can only love oneself? I looked up the definition of “narcissistic personality” :

“A mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships and A LACK OF EMPATHY FOR OTHERS. Behind this mask of extreme confidence lies a fragile self esteem that is vulnerable to the slightest criticism”.

Leadership is about “what I can give; not what I can receive”. Simon Sinek says “Leaders eat last”.

Put all this together, it is hard to believe the absence of Grace and Compassion in the scenario that is unfolding before us.

Note: This Blog was prepared before the final US Election results. 

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