Why compassion?

Compassion is not only powerful, it’s essential.

Compassion is a worldview

At it’s core, compassion is about recognizing our common humanity – about seeing that we are all human with our own struggles, hopes, and needs. Knowing that, we bring a desire to care for, support, and value other people just as we would like to be cared for, valued, and supported. Not only that, it means creating whole societies in a way that everyone feels included and their needs met, defining our approach to everything from climate policy to economics.

Compassion is in all of us

Scientific research shows us that compassion is hard-wired. It’s an evolutionary development that began with the parent-child relationship and, as societies have grown, has been extended to allow us to form supportive and caring relationships with our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and communities. In fact, the human species could never have survived and thrived without compassion – allowing us to create systems like healthcare and public services that bring support to millions.

…but it can be switched off

While we all have the potential to be compassionate, it is a behavior that can be switched off. If we live in environments high on conflict, competition, or fear, or in cultures that value power and control over cooperation and inclusion, then the compassionate part of our brains can be turned down or switched off entirely. In these situations it takes courage and commitment to be our best, compassionate selves.

Which is why we need to champion compassion

That is why we need to champion compassion. We need to build a global majority in favour of thinking, feeling, and acting with compassion. The alternative is that major causes of human suffering – poverty, climate change, discrimination – not only continue but grow as they become ever more “normal.” Compassion is the alternative and it’s one that is carried inside all of us.

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