A case for compassion

I’ve always wondered why we’ve held tech companies in such high esteem regarding leadership and culture. So when the company that brought us “psychological safety” laid off 12,000 employees by email, I was sad but not surprised. 

It’s funny how true character always reveals itself during stressful times. 

Last week, I was in NoCal for a summit about making a business case for compassionate organizations, and the recent string of tech layoffs by email served as a backdrop. 

We agreed that suffering, from job instability to Mother Earth to pandemic grief to self-doubt to transgenerational trauma, inflicts us all. The data are clear; we’re hurting and trying to heal by resisting, deflecting, and numbing what pains us, but this approach never works. 

Driven by the pandemic, empathy became the new vulnerability. While it acknowledges suffering and builds connection, compassion goes further and takes action to alleviate and prevent it. As researcher, Dr. Nikki Mirghafori shared, “Compassion is when kindness meets suffering.” 

Everyone has the potential for kindness and compassion, and we see examples every day in response to environmental crises, loss, and through corporate community outreach. Whether we send or receive a compassion ripple, we all know doing good feels good. 

Many in business consider compassion soft, but it’s anything but. Like a Mom who sets clear expectations and leads with her heart, compassionate leaders see it as a hard skill that builds connection and infuses accountability into their organizations. 

We have an opportunity to lead and work differently today. I’m not talking about whether we return to the office, which is red herring that is getting far too much attention because it only focuses on where we work rather than how we work. Instead, it’s a moment to advocate for more compassion at work, in life, in how we eat, and in our treatment of each other and ourselves. 

Being self-compassionate doesn’t mean you’re weak or not driven. It’s about letting go of the belief that you must be hard on yourself to succeed and accepting that you can’t step into your higher power through shame, envy, guilt, and doubt. It’s about being kind to yourself. 

And wouldn’t your world be better with more kindness and compassion? 

If you want to ripple more compassion, join our life-changing Ripple Challenge® in May to recognize Mental Health Awareness Month and enhance our mental and physical well-being. Click the green button below to join today. 

Until next week, have fun storming the castle! 



For Boston’s not a capital,

     And Boston’s not a place;

Rather I think that Boston is

     A sort of state of grace.

– Boston Is Like No Other Place in the World Only More So. by E.B. White

In 1998, I toed the line in Hopkinton, Mass, for The Boston Marathon. Besides our town’s 5K, it would be my last running race. Becoming a first-time parent in Dec ’97 curtailed my training, and I was less than fit, but that didn’t stop me from charging ahead. 

I felt like one of the Backstreet Boys running through Wellesley, suffered up Heartbreak Hill, and when I got to Boston College, I wanted to stop and grab a beer. But I didn’t – because we finish the race. 

On Patriots’ Day, I root for The Sox (except when they play my Jays) and feel mudita for the runners when they see the Citgo sign. 

What I love most about this country is our ability to come together and do hard things. We go far together. Always have and always will – “We finish the race…because around the corner, a stranger is holding a cup of water…we carry on…we run again.”

Yes, we do, yes we do! 

Tomorrow we are all Bostonians.