Compassion in the time of Coronavirus (even for my previous boss)

This article is written by EH at @happyops.

My previous job

This article continues my experiences about leaving my previous job. I left my previous In the first article I wrote about my decision to hand-in notice at a previous job.

Based on these articles you will able to see that things did not go well with the previous boss. As with many people, I left the company not because of the company but because of the boss.

Four Immeasurables

In our previous article we talked about our work colleagues have an equal right to happiness:

3. Because our work colleagues have an equal right to their happiness as you have in your right to your happiness.

This is aligned with the second and third of the Four Immeasurables – the wish for all beings to be free of suffering and the causes of suffering, and all beings to have happiness and the causes of happiness. These are closely aligned with the Four Noble Truths – the Buddha’s first teaching. @LamaZopa has provided a wonderful explanation of how the Four Immeasurables should be used to overcome the self-centred / self-preoccupied mind that is captured in the thought “me first” that is called self-cherishing here:

How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings had happiness and its causes.
May they have happiness and its causes.
I myself will cause them to have happiness and its causes.
Please Guru-Buddha, bless me to be able to do so.

How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were free from suffering and its causes.
May they be free from suffering and its causes.
I myself will cause them to be free from suffering and its causes.
Please Guru-Buddha, bless me to be able to do so.

My previous boss

Because of the nature of the industry my previous company is in, they will not be doing very well while other companies are in lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic.

I had a dream about my previous boss, they were faced with the realities of the Coronavirus. My previous boss was firing my previous colleagues and making difficult decisions to plan for the set back and downsizing the company. At first it seemed as though my previous boss took enjoyment from this. But my previous boss had invested over a decade building up the company and didn’t want to fire anybody.

Based on the articles about my previous job, you will able to see that I left the company not because of the company but because of my previous boss. But in the dream my previous boss faced real, tangible suffering after so much spent finding the right people and building up the company. When I came out of the dream I recognised the suffering my previous boss was experiencing and I did not want them to face that suffering, even though I found my previous boss a difficult person to get along with.

Living with the Coronavirus, in a time of social distancing and self-isolation, is a time of suffering for almost everybody, even difficult bosses. I imagine that many other bosses facing the realities of the Coronavirus are also making very difficult decisions they wish they didn’t have to make. Similar to the second and third of the Four Immeasurables, I wish all bosses are happy and I wish they do not need to face suffering, even if they are difficult people to get along with.

This is just a small change in my outlook towards my previous boss, but growing my scope of compassion towards somebody who I had negative feelings towards is a small personal improvement. I will count it as a small win.

Take this sister or brother, may it serve you well.

Wishing you every happiness even if you are a difficult boss, EH.