The word ‘Compassion’ comes from the Latin compati, meaning “to suffer with”.
I listened to a wonderful podcast last week by Betty Hart. She talked about her hopes of replacing a culture of cancelling others with one of compassion.
“Suffering with” allows growth and change. Hart puts forward the argument that we may be the only people who have the opportunity to plant seeds of challenge, growth and reflection with those we disagree with.
If we simply “cancel” each other, we become even more polarised and ignorant. We marginalise instead of including. We hate and criticise, rather than having a dialogue.
Perhaps, it’s incredibly difficult to “suffer with” those we find abhorrent and intolerable. This should not be understated and taken as allowing hatred to fester and spread.
But if we attempt to cancel others, we will just radicalise minorities.
We must strive to find a balance between hate speech, free speech and cancel culture.
There are many points of dialogue between those opposites.
Compassion is one way we can strive to educate, dialogue and recognise the dignity of fellow human beings, whatever their views and opinions.
How do you practice compassion?
What do you think of cancel culture?