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Blind Spot

Recently, there was a letter signed by over 160 business leaders urging Mayor Bill De Blasio to improve New York City’s “deteriorating conditions” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.


They argue that unemployment has skyrocketed since the pandemic ravaged businesses across the city. And things have taken a turn for the worse.


It’s sad to hear, and a little bit surprising quite frankly. I still see people hustling and bustling whenever I go outside. And I see outdoor dining packed in some restaurants in Manhattan.


I guess it really just depends on the person you ask. The perspective you see from your current condition.


Honestly, the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t ravaged my life as badly as initially thought. I still work in the family business. I am still alive. And I still have a loving family and friends that I can talk to on a daily basis.


I frankly feel like New York City has gotten much better compared with the peak of the pandemic in the region back in late March and April. The city has gotten much, much better since those dreadful days.


So, why are these business leaders complaining about “deteriorating conditions”? If anything, shouldn’t New York City be vastly improved than they were back in April of this year?


We have coronavirus in check for the most part, while the virus is still ravaging across entire sections of the rest of the country. For what it’s worth, we should be grateful that the NYC government put us in a position to succeed. And to have things return to normalcy sooner rather than later.


So, why the complaint about “deteriorating” conditions in this recently signed business letter by over 160 leaders of all industries? I just don’t get it.


I feel like I have a blind spot in life. After all, I only see what I want to see. I see what I can see during my 24 hours per day of life in NYC. And quite frankly, I don’t see a lot.


What I see is simply constrained to my family, my friends, my girlfriend, and my immediate surroundings. I don’t have the full picture of what’s going on in NYC. Nobody does.


What I feel has vastly improving can be what someone else views to be vastly deteriorating. Especially in the sensitive field of politics. Is America great again? Is it in the midst of a downward spiral?


It really depends on which side you’re on. Red or blue. Democrat or Republican. Everyone’s got their own beliefs, ideals, and picture of life. But, just realize that it’s never the full picture.


The full picture is unattainable. We can only see so much in our limited time in this world. And we can try our best to rationalize away how the world is supposed to be. Or what is good or what is bad.


But in reality, it’s just not possible to rationalize everything. To have the full picture and to realize what’s going on in everyone’s lives right now.


It’s one thing to read about it. But, it’s another thing to feel it firsthand. And no matter how hard I empathize with the other party, it’s just not possible to step into their own shoes and view the world from their own lens.


Even empathy has its own limits. I can empathize as much as I want to the people who have lost loved ones during this pandemic. But, it only goes so far. I cannot firsthand feel the anguish that they feel. The pain and suffering that they go through. I’m not them, and they’re not me.


So, similarly, I can’t fathom what these business leaders are going through. To see New York City from their eyes. From their pain. From their ideals. From their beliefs.


I guess to them, NYC is on the path of a downward spiral. And it’s up to the government to stop the bleeding. To put it back on the path of wealth and success.


No matter how hard we try, there will always be discontent in society. There will always be a segment of the population that feels mistreated and ignored. Because nobody has the full picture.


Everybody has that blind spot that prevents them from seeing how things are in other people’s shoes. That’s the nature of being human. We only see what we can see in our own limitations. Nobody is God.


So with that being said, empathy is not everything, but it can still go a long way towards polishing up that blind spot. To make it less of a constraint and more of a strength to build upon.


No matter how hard we try, we just don’t have the full picture of how things are going in every nook and cranny of the world. It’s not possible to know what is going on everywhere.


We just need to accept our limitations and try our best to acknowledge and support our brothers and sisters through these trying times - realizing that our limits are all okay in the grand scheme of things.

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