A history of compassion.
A record of making a difference.
A future that can help change lives.
Nothing has lifted the curtain on the pain of the most vulnerable like the coronavirus pandemic. The virus that has infected large swaths of society has also painted a stunning portrait of the emotional toll it has taken on so many others, like essential workers struggling with disparities in job conditions and healthcare professionals suddenly confronted by the limits of their emotional resilience. From conventional office workers re-learning what is truly important in their lives to the elderly, the disabled and others too long marginalized by poverty, injustice and discrimination, there is a yearning for kindness, fairness, inclusiveness and consideration to become governing principles in the way society functions. The search for a softer and more caring hand on the part of those who exercise power has become universal. People have also discovered the sustaining power of being able to trust one another. The willingness of many to trust governments and institutions of power in the aftermath of these years of turmoil and crisis, however, is another matter altogether. That will take work, and a lot of healing effort.
The call for authentic, life-affirming compassion is the unmistakable echo of this pandemic. But self-serving pronouncements of satisfaction with the status quo won’t answer the sounds of these voices. That’s why ZeroHarmNow Advisors and its compassion innovation lab is working hard to embed more robust compassion practices and delivery mechanisms in our best organizations in healthcare, education and public governance. When it comes to the future of the most vulnerable in the post-pandemic era, we need to do everything possible to make sure they will actually have a future.
Please visit these pages, look at what we are doing, and share your thoughts if you like. Above all, take a moment to reach out to someone else with a little unexpected kindness. Even a small gesture of caring will do so much more for you than you could ever imagine, and it may very well change someone else’s life.
Kathleen Finlay, founder
ZeroHarmNow Advisors and the ZeroHarmNow Compassion Lab
ZeroHarmNow: We turn the lived experiences of victims and survivors into learning experiences and innovations for making compassion the new normal in organizations and public policies.
Got a minute? Take a power compassion break.
Take a minute to ask yourself, Is there anyone you could check in with to see how they are and what they might need? An overworked colleague? A distant cousin? A friend who vaguely alluded to having a tough time when you last chatted? A quick call, a few warm words in an email, maybe even a surprise knock on the door – doing things like this a few times a week can make all the difference. It might even change a life.
Then take another minute to check in with yourself. Are you OK? Are you over-stressed? Have you looked out the window and heard the birds sing? Those little spring flowers have been a long winter coming. These little things will help you stay resilient and centred. If you are having a hard time, reach out to someone to talk about it. Nobody is reluctant to reach out for help when they have a pain in their chest. There is no stigma associated with getting help for migraine headaches. Our mental well-being is no stranger to our bodies. There is no stigma associated with giving it the respect and attention it deserves.
When it comes to compassion, we’re not trying to defy gravity. We’re just trying to make compassion the new normal.
ZeroHarmNow Advisors acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.