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TROUBLESHOOTER / I’m a doctor who can’t be kind to weak people

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male doctor in my 40s. I really hate myself because I can’t be kind to the weak.

I can’t nicely treat people like the sick and the quiet, thinking such things as “They brought their sickness on themselves” and “They’re no good because their personality is dark.” I sometimes belittle people within the workplace due to differences in our positions.

Because I treat people like this, I continue to have difficulty with interpersonal relationships and I dislike my life. I also get annoyed when I hear people’s complaints. It gets me irritated to see people who are ineffective or make mistakes. It’s a pain to be nice.

I’m not very smart myself, but my qualifications have gotten me a stable job and I’m fortunate in my social position. However, I think I’m pathetic, and when people ask me if I’m happy, I don’t think so at all.

Maybe I’m just not trying hard enough and this isn’t something to consult others about, but even though I want to interact with other people as equals, I’m leading exactly the opposite life. What can I do to change?

H, Kanagawa Prefecture

Dear Mr. H:

You’re probably critical of the weak because you feel like you’re seeing yourself, who was weak in the past.

You conquered your weakness with a great deal of effort. Because you feel that way, you’re highly impatient with people who can’t win out. Suffering is the price of laziness, you think, based on your own experience.

You can’t forgive what you were in the past, can you?

However, everyone tries hard, wanting to be strong. Some people are only able to lead disappointing lives for a variety of reasons. They’re not weak because they want to be.

You were lucky in a special way. That’s what you should think. It is the duty of people who are fortunate to look after those who are not. You’re in a position to tell them “this is what you should do.”

What you lack is imagination. How do suffering people feel? Compassion for suffering stems from imagination. If you just have compassion, you’ll also have no trouble improving your interpersonal relationships.

It’s not too late. If you have the desire to change, you can change.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(from Dec. 22, 2018, issue)Speech

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