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Creating a Culture of Compassion

diverse group of hands joined together at table

Before the term was coined, Betty Hart says, she canceled her father. An ideological divide led her to not speak with him for 10 years.

But then she picked up the phone one day and said, “I bet if you could go back in time and change some things, you would. I know I would. But we can’t. So how about we start again?”

He said yes because he loved her. And over the remaining years of his life, they never saw eye-to-eye about the thing that divided them. But their love continued.

And today, she encourages others to choose compassion and curiosity over canceling others in developing workplaces that advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Hart, thought leader, theater artist, diversity advocate, and facilitator, was one of the speakers in the Massachusetts Conference for Women’s year-long Justice, Equity, and Inclusion series presented in partnership with The Boston Globe and State Street.

Here are 10 insights she shared about compassion, curiosity, and collaboration during her talk.

  • As long as we think in terms of “I,” “we” will never make true progress toward our goals.
  • We were not meant to be in isolation. Surely the pandemic illustrated this. We’re better together.
  • Ideas in isolation are not solutions. They must be put into practice. And before they are put into practice, they should be vetted and tested by a myriad of people.
  • Your brilliance needs to be weighted by somebody else’s temperance, and their brilliance needs to be weighted, but you were temperance. No one person can see all the variables. Together we can see more and do much.
  • Collaboration without sufficient resources will only take us so far. We need community, and we need resources, and we need a willingness to live in discomfort.
  • How can we address change as a community while also recognizing the need for individual accountability? First, we need to recognize that working together requires that we have a genuine appreciation for each other.
  • We’ve created a set of rules that don’t allow for growth or change. This path doesn’t lead to a more just and equitable society.
  • We can doubt. We can question. We can and should challenge systems of oppression. The desire to reach equity will not happen by wishing and hoping alone.
  • But when we choose compassion and curiosity, we are acknowledging in humility that I do not always know, nor am I always right. I need you, and you need me.
  • Change always seems impossible until it happens.

Watch the complete Creating a Culture of Compassion replay . And check out all the talks from the 2021 Justice, Equity, and Inclusion series.

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