The essence of compassionate activism, as you might imagine, is compassion. That’s what it all flows from. In Compassion-Focused Therapy, we use a common definition of compassion: being sensitive to suffering, and being motivated to alleviate it and prevent it. Instead of turning away and avoiding suffering because it makes us uncomfortable, we turn towards it, allow ourselves to be moved by it, and ask, “How can I help?”
This isn’t easy. Compassion starts with courage – the courage to let our hearts break, and to keep going, with kindness and steadfastness. Compassion isn’t flashy or glamorous. It’s about steadfastness, warmth, and committed action. To do this in an ongoing way, we need the support of other compassionate people – to inspire us, encourage us, and support us. On this page, I’ll post links to communities of wonderful people who are devoted to doing just that.
For example, the Charter for Compassion.
And the Compassionate Mind Foundation.
And the Compassionate Initiative.
Here’s a talk I gave on working compassionately with anger, an emotion that will likely turn up for you sometimes as you engage in compassionate activism: