VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis called for greater compassion for refugees and marginalized people less than a week after President Trump ordered a temporary immigration ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Consider this choice: Given two individuals with equivalent talent and skills, who do you look up to and prefer to work with, promote, or invite onto a project? Chances are it’s the more compassionate one.
If that sounds intuitively right, it’s now getting some backing by science—with a few conditions. Wharton professor Adam Grant argues that kindness and compassion give us a far greater advantage than self-absorption. Nice guys do finish first, he explains, as long as they learn how not to let others take advantage of them.
In his best-selling book, Give and Take, Grant explains that, yes, as many suspect, compassionate leaders sometimes do lose out. People who care about others’ well-being and look out for their colleagues and employees—the group Grant calls “givers”—are overrepresented at the bottom of the success ladder, having been mown down by selfish “takers.” But here’s the surprising finding: Grant also reveals that “givers” are overrepresented at the very top of the success ladder, too. How can that be?
It turns out that givers are more liked and appreciated and therefore become more influential. The difference between successful and unsuccessful givers often comes down to strategy: When givers learn strategies that prevent others from taking advantage of them, their “nice” qualities end up helping them succeed above and beyond anyone else. Why? In part because everyone loves working with them and appreciates them for their kind and giving qualities.
Studies have shown that our DNA drives us to carry out acts of compassion for the greater good of our species. There’s evidence indicating that infants show a preference for people they perceive as helpful, and other research suggest compassion is a motivator of kindness among toddlers as young as 2 years old. It turns out that those of us who offer — and receive — more compassion reap some hefty health benefits. We partnered with Dignity Health to look at a few of the ways compassion may boost your well-being.
I live in, and love, the United States of America. A land of freedom built on a short history of great successes and unfortunate mistakes. I am prideful of our growth, but not blind to our failings. And while we live in a turbulent times, I will not let fear steal my compassion or humanity.
We are a very young nation, continuously growing and evolving. And with rapid growth comes inevitable mistakes. The gravest of which we have perpetuated on our own citizens; forced relocation of Native Americans, a civil war, Japanese internment camps, and most heinous; the enslavement of other human beings.
And through the lens of hindsight we look at our history of intolerance based on religion, nationality, economics or personal lifestyle and shake our heads thinking; “How could they have be so blind?”
There probably has been no other time in human history where we are so rich in resource but can get so easily depleted in spirit. We live in a competitive world where a sense of self-worth can be contingent upon outer criteria: standardized tests, schools, grades, appearance. We live in a world where disconnect is rampant although we have available tools to connect instantaneously.
Bengaluru — In reply to a question about whether it is possible to preserve religious values without religion, the spiritual leader of Tibet suggested that in a world of 7 billion people, where 1 billion express no interest in religion, there has to be a way of exchanging the understanding of love, compassion, tolerance and forgiveness.
The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have understandably shaken the Western world to its core. The death toll is harrowing and the potential for more violence is terrifying.
The West has been attacked, and it wants to strike back. The terrorists ended over 100 precious lives and sent a strong message filled with fiery hate. It is only natural that we want to send an equally strong message back, an insistence that we will not stand idly by as our people are slaughtered and our values attacked.
But why then does much of the Western response make me feel sick? Why do I fear that the attacks have succeeded in bringing out the worst of us? I think it is because I am noticing a worrying trend. We are flirting with the dangerous idea that to protect ourselves and exact revenge, we must necessarily abandon any notion of compassion.
Sometimes, we think that who we are and what we do doesn’t matter to the world.
We’ve heard that if we don’t learn from history, we’re condemned to repeat it. I’d prefer to learn.
In light of recent events, I’d like to share a story of the power of one person’s peace in the ancient world that is still impacting us now.
Listening to this story, we can always remember, peace is a choice. What will we chose today?
Our good friend Dr Stephen Roe, former head of music manuscripts at Sotheby’s in London, was taking a family break on the Greek island of Samos when he found himself in the thick of human desperation, obliged as a decent human being to help others in need. Here are some excerpts from the diary he has been keeping this past week. Impossible not to be moved by the disaster.
Driving towards Vathi, the capital of Samos today, we passed 30 or so refugees, men, women, young children, but probably mostly young men. They were miles from anywhere. It was 7am. Probably just arrived. Then we took boat to Turkey and saw scores of life-vests on the shores, and further up the beach. I hope they were only abandoned after the poor people thought they needed them no longer. They were in remote bays, with sole access from the sea. What is to be done?