I love what Karen Armstrong is doing with the Charter For Compassion. And I love what Daniel Goleman has taught us all about emotional intelligence. I'm drawn to leaders and visionaries and ventures which OOZE empathy and compassion.
Why is that?
Well ,maybe it's because I like the feeling. Yes; the feeling. But this is business and venture building so why in the world do I need to feel; I mean why not robotically perform and worry about the soft side of life, the right side of life aptitudes after hours?
Last time I checked all great movements and ventures involved people and although technology has replaced many a human function it has not yet replaced feeling; to be human is to feel. Leaders primary responsibility is to galvanize others and to galvanize others you need to understand others. Compassionate, empathetic leaders, given the same hard skill sets are more effective. Period.
Plus, being nice is just cool.
I love the bumper sticker, 'mean people suck.' I have to admit this group ( the mean group) I don't mind discriminating against. Meanness is not cool; not now; not ever and of course I've been mean….uncaring even, I've had my moments where I was not empathetic. We all do. But part of our intention here is to become more aware of ourselves and the impact we have on others.
I must confess, I've suffered from falling prey to my own story and life desires, wants and needs to the exclusion of the stories of others and their needs. My focus has sometimes been narcisstically narrow and a few times entirely self-centered. I have played the me, me, me song and make no mistake when I've fallen prey to this self focused scarcity mentality my life has suffered
I don't want to be too busy to care.
I don't want to buy into the false belief that it's better to invest my life to churn out performance than change lives, solve social ills, help others and show up compassionate and empathetic. I refuse to buy into the bullshoot that commerce and charity do not intersect and that who I become is not as important as what I achieve or have.
To busy to care? To self focused to notice? To selfish to get involved?
To challenged to be nice?'
Or is it more the fact that sometimes you and I just get in a rut and we forget how easy it is to make a difference in our ventures and communities?
I'm not at all trying to make you or I feel guilty; rather I want to ask questions that matter.
How empathetic are you? Am I?
How compassionate are you? Am I?
What is your belief about compassion and empathy?
How often are we outside of our own drama shoes and how comfy are we in the shoes of others, how good are we at looking at life through others eyes and how practiced are we at feeling 'with' others? How often do we follow up our desire to help by doing something?
What would happen if you and I became a part of the Charter for Compassion. What would happen if you and I, our friends and then the community, state and nation committed to the golden rule?
"Oh utopia," I hear you laughing.
What if all creation begins with thought…all possibility with a question?
I'm not dreaming. I'm setting my intentions.
To live the golden rule till breath departs me.
To show up compassionate and empathetic and open to receive feedback if ever you find me any less than humble, compassionate, kind and empathetic.
This is my charter- what's yours?