The callous killing of a black man and the whirlwind of events over the past two weeks have left us sickened and confused. How can this happen in 2020? It’s awakened many of us — me included — to just how deep society’s inequities run and how destructive they can be. This can’t continue.
The underlying issues are complex and I don’t pretend to know what the solutions are. But I do know this. If each of us starts with compassion for those who have suffered and those who continue to suffer, striving to see through their eyes, think in their minds, and feel with their hearts, all while knowing that we can never truly experience what they experience, then we can change our mental state and be inspired to act. And if we demonstrate that compassion, then those who suffer may feel somewhat less alone, less vulnerable.
When organizations treat their people with compassion, they develop a deeper level of trust and a deeper sense of commitment. Leaders who are compassionate send the message that they care, setting the foundation for meaningful relationships. Compassion is essential to our existence. The Dalai Lama once said, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
Before you race to solutions, start with compassion. Before you think, what should I do, what would be acceptable to do, what do I want to do, start with compassion. Before you assume, evaluate, criticize, or politicize, start with compassion.
Yes, there are decisions we must make and actions we must take to deal with the severe inequities in our society.
First, start with compassion.
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