The teenager came home from school, collapsed into a sofa, buried his face in his palms and started sobbing uncontrollably.

His parents were bewildered. They just couldn’t imagine what might have happened. They had never seen him so emotional before. He was a good all-round student, jovial and even-tempered, friendly with all his peers, liked by all teachers and elders, and had never got into any serious fight or quarrel with anybody.

After a few minutes, the boy calmed down and explained that a couple of older boys had been verbally bullying his friend whose hand was in a cast due to a recent fracture. When he had requested the boys to refrain from bullying his friend, they pushed him and challenged him to physically silence them. Fearing that his friend’s injury might get aggravated in any scuffle, he had just walked away with his friend, while the other boys made nasty remarks.

“Don’t let their remarks bother you,” his mother advised.

“I don’t care about their remarks. I’m upset that my friend was being bullied and I could not defend him,” the boy replied.

Oxford Dictionaries define Sensitive as, “Having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings,”
and also as, “Easily offended or upset.”

In this incident, the boy had and displayed “a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings.”

Many of us are “easily offended or upset.” How many of us genuinely “have or display a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings?”


29 thoughts on “Sensitive

  1. Takes a lot of compassion, Pro. My Vidur is a gentle fella who surprises us very often by standing up for his friends and consoling them when they are upset. I read recently about a :kindness school. 🙂 And thought what a good idea that was.

  2. I fall in the category of “Having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings”! I don’t tolerate nonsense. I can’t hold back emotions and give it back right and square, even when it means raising voice to let know that I won’t take anything lying down.

    I strongly believe in “Laathon ke bhooth baathon sey nahi maanthey,” meaning you can’t simply afford to be polite at all times, sometimes you have to give a kick to ensure that the message is effectively conveyed. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing, and achieving results though it means treading on some toes.

    This is a trait inherited from my late father and will stay till my last day!
    I simply cannot ‘smile and smile and be a villain’.
    Give it and be done with it there and then is my attitude.
    Many don’t seem to like this!

    • Nagesh, as Beloo Mehra said in her comment, “Being sensitive is so often confused with being weak.” Hence, people assume that outspoken activists are insensitive. The fact is, activists like you are most sensitive about the feelings of others. That is exactly why they have no patience with people who dish out ‘nonsense’, as you call it.

      We all want ‘things to change for the better’, but very few people (you are one of them) actually do something. Most of the others are silent onlookers, but some unfortunately choose to act as armchair critics.

      “Laathon ke bhooth baathon sey nahi maanthey” is so true.

      Keep the good work going on, Nagesh!

  3. Bullies are the weakest people themselves, the minute one stands up firmly to them they back down. But what the young student showed was an exceptional sense of understanding in judging the situation & backing off. I am sure the bullies too must have realised why he backed off.

  4. So many people tell me, “I am a very sensitive person,” but that means they worry about their own feelings only..they worry about how others treat them, but rarely bother about how they treat others..for me, being sensitive means sensitive to other’s feelings and not hurting others.

  5. Being compassionate to other people and having a strong desire to alleviate their suffering is truly what we need in bucket loads around us!

  6. Being sensitive is so often confused with being weak. But it is actually their inner strength of being on the side of the right that makes sensitive people truly strong. A thoughtful post again, Pro!

  7. agree with Beloo….being sensitive is not a sign of weakness….infact those who make fun of sensitive people are they cannot even stand up to the voice of their conscience……those pure of heart are often the most sensitive….

  8. I think I am a sensitive person and am proud that way :-). I don’t try to hide in the fear of being misunderstood. Being sensitive, humility are qualities misread by many often. Thanks for the nice post…

  9. I have seen this happen many times with my son. He gets deeply affected. I wonder if this world really appreciates this sensitivity or challenges and bullies you till you learn to keep that side of yours hidden.

  10. liked your post, those who bully others are very insecure people, once I had a PG student wanting to hang himself, because he was bullied by a junior in his college, it was such a sad state of affairs to help this young man who was could not take it any more. It is very important to be sensitive and to understand the feelings. Thank god we rescued him by counselling and also took help from his friends and the management to support him further… thanks for sharing !

    • It was great that you could help this student in time!
      You are correct that bullies are insecure people. Unfortunately, they do not understand that their bullying can have a very serious impact on their victims.

  11. It is heartening to note that such sensitivity hasn’t died. This is something which makes us so human , and many times, it gives us the courage to act too !

  12. I wonder what the child learnt form this episode. Should he continue to ignore if the kids bully the friend or himself again. Should he resort to violence himself and show them that he’s not weak? Should he go and report the issue to the teachers and be called a coward or spoil-sport by his class-fellows forever, for the rest of his life? What is it that, as parents, we should teach our child in such cases. The child can get harmed himself as the bullies can get violent too, being more in number giving them the courage to do such an act.

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