Last evening, Jaden tells me his Roblox account has been hacked. He is distraught. He tells me he's lost all his robux (Roblox money) and has been shut out from his account. He says he suspects a particular Roblox inhabitant.
I can see the emotion welling up.
My rational brain is screaming loud that I should tell Jaden his ordeal is nothing compared to what people in a marooned Bangalore are currently going through .Of course, I don't pay heed. I know I must handle this with 'empathy' and a sense of 'balance'. Now this is parenting territory like no other. I must be able to tell Jaden its alright without coming across as a Dad who doesn't care. Plus I must also be able to help him get a perspective, so he knows his problems aren't as pressing as what others may be going through. Its important to know empathy isn't an ownership of others' problem. Its seeing the problem with sufficient insight and with a sense of balance. The latter is what we can't get right most times. Either we immerse too much in another's problem, or we stay afar. The former takes an emotional toll, the latter pushed us into zones of insensitivity.
Marketers need a sense of balance when dealing with consumers. We aren't the consumers' 'keepers'. We are mere problem-solvers and solution-givers. With limits. This is true for parenting too. Keeping the balance between intervention, ownership, and stepping aside when a child wrestles with a problem is parenting genius. Agreed, parenting isn't marketing, yet marketing can learn from parenting.
And vice versa too.