On Sensitivity

[A friend asked whether it was good or bad to have a sensitive mind. Here is my response.]

Your question “is it good or bad to have a sensitive mind” set me thinking for a long time. Here are my thoughts for your consideration.

Sensitivity by itself does not carry any value of ‘good or bad.’ I feel that sensitivity is good or bad depending upon whether it helps us to make meaning of our life experiences and whether it helps us grow. 

If we brood over a bitter experience, as we usually do, we do not learn anything. The mind may be sensitive, but it has not helped us evolve. Similarly if we daydream about happy experiences we do not move forward.

So essentially, a sensitive mind must help us introspect, reflect on our experience and make us more open, authentic and caring.

In the early days of my job as HR Manager, I had to dismiss two persons although I felt there was no case against them. This experience was very harsh for me; I used to think that I have the gumption and guts to fight for my beliefs. And obviously the evidence was against me! I regretted this decision of mine of not following diktats of my mind. But later on when faced with similar situations I have always prevailed and acted on my convictions. This would not have been possible without a sensitive mind and an ability to reflect on the [previous] experience. Sensitivity and Experience are worthless unless the help us become better persons.

I am sure you would have also had your share of good and bad experiences. With a sensitive mind you are placed in an advantageous position to develop yourself.

Thanks for asking me this question; it has helped me crystallize my thoughts. And I hope you will find the answer interesting enough for a reflection,

PS: This is what Joni Mitchell [who received eight Grammy Awards] had to say, “You could write a song about some kind of emotional problem you are having, but it would not be a good song, in my eyes, until it went through a period of sensitivity to a moment of clarity. Without that moment of clarity to contribute to the song, it’s just complaining.”