“I had to quit music when I had kids because I spent all my time on them.”
“Do you regret it?”
“Absolutely not, because when I picked up the guitar again, the music came out different.”
“People need to communicate more.”
“They hide too much. From themselves and from each other.”
“Is there something you’re hiding that you wish you weren’t?”
“Probably. And I’ll probably keep hiding it.”
Every single person’s happiness, or lack thereof, was entirely dependent on their connections with other people. Money, luck, health and other seemingly obvious factors didn’t guarantee happiness. But relationships were found to be a necessity.
Most everyone in the design and tech fields work on something that facilitates human interaction online. We enable necessary connections between people. Not users. People.
…This interaction—and the relationships which are fostered as a result—enrich people’s lives. We should consider this in our designs and strive to generate happiness in everything we create.
Don’t make these mistakes.
We can’t begin being empathetic when another person arrives. We have to already have made a space in our lives where empathy can thrive. And that means being open—truly open—to feeling emotions we may not want to feel. It means allowing another’s experiences to gut us. It means ceding control.
Empathy begins with vulnerability. And being vulnerable, especially in our work, is fucking terrifying.