Compassion arises where kindness encounters suffering; where an open heart encounters pain or stress and where the desire to relieve or ease that suffering naturally arises. This relates to physical pain, but also social, emotional and mental pain. Compassion is active. Compassion is taking responsibility and taking action to contribute to the reduction of suffering, large or small; for ourselves, for our neighbours, but also for our colleagues and associates. You can develop compassion.

Cruelty and indifference are the opposites to compassion. Compassion is sometimes confused with empathy or sympathy. However, where there is only empathy, sympathy is felt but no action is taken and where there is pity, there is no energy and capacity to alleviate the suffering.

Where there is insecurity, compassionate action comes under pressure. This applies to relationships, organisations, institutions and communities. Where compassionate action is low, insecurity is high. Based on the thinking that insecurity can be settled with regulations, protocols and procedures, unilateral measures are taken and rules are imposed from above. The development and training of compassion are increasingly included in the foundation of policy and education to encourage safety, personal and professional development. What would happen if compassion were “officially” part of the story?

From an evolutionary perspective it is logical that our brain focuses largely on “safety and survival.” Parts of the brain that are activated by empathy, compassion and altruism become less active if we do not feel safe or if we feel pressure (ie stress). There is a lot of insecurity in today’s world. This determines human action … What would the world look like if ‘work and compassionate decision-making’ were to become one of the most important themes would for world leaders…