Growing through Compassion

Dec 13, 2022

I have written about compassion before and how resilient people are compassionate people. Resilient leaders naturally show compassion not by showing empathy toward a person in a unique situation who might be able to help them in a future situation. Rather, resilient leaders show compassion by seeing another person as a person who is part of a larger system. These compassionate leaders help that person with their needs—so they can help other people with their needs.

A pretty fun(ny) group of colleagues that push me to grow.

Compassion is helping others in need without keeping score. The award that is impossible to win is the “Most Compassionate Award.” To climb to the top of the compassion ladder implies that you are showing empathy and doing nice things for a reason other than being in the moment with another person to help them as a human whose role in life is bigger than you or that person alone.

Compassion is not transactional.

Sure, it’s fine to win an award that highlights your compassionate leadership. But that’s not why you help others through their struggles. And suffering your own needs for the sake of another is not compassion either. There are no calculations with compassion; no transactions.

Compassion is simply seeing a need and meeting a need.

As I have been told, you don’t have to look far and wide to find ‘the greatest’ need. There’s always a need right next to you. Unless you are still striving for the impossible “Most Compassionate Award,” there is a need that you can help with within arm’s reach today.

Compassion is learning through curiosity.

I am returning home from a conference recharged from sharing precious, irreplaceable time with a fun and funny group of people. And, I am returning home with feelings of accomplishment and simultaneously feeling forgotten in time.

I have reached a point where people cite my research with no mention of my name, which is a neat feeling. After all, who cites Einstein when they talk about relativity? The research is so important that 'everyone' knows it and takes it as truth without questioning the source. That's a good thing. And, it was a weird feeling to be asked if I know [insert name] researcher who wrote this particular piece of research. I said, "that was me--I had a different name than" and was met with "no, I think it was [insert name]." It was a good opportunity to practice patience and kindness. I care deeply for the other person, and we later shared a good laugh about the encounter.

What I learned from the fun (and funny!) group of people I shared the rest of my time with this week is that we are all growing daily.

What we remember of a person from a different point in life doesn't remain stuck in time.

Open your mind to different possibilities and see what you can learn.

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