Compassion arises from a deep experience of shared humanity and solidarity. It can be cultivated, harnessed, and channeled in service of social justice, health equity, and dignity.
Our Approach to Compassion
Our approach is informed by neuroscience, psychology, & contemplative science.
We focus on three essential elements of compassion:
Cognitive awareness of suffering
Emotional resonance with the suffering person
A commitment to alleviating suffering
Compassion in Action
We must recognize suffering before we can alleviate it.
Being fully aware requires openness, stability of mind, and the capacity for critical analysis. For a truly compassionate response to suffering—and for a sustained commitment to social justice—this awareness has to permeate our inner being. We have to feel the suffering or injustice and be touched by it.
How can we express compassion?
Compassion can be expressed by marching together in protest, by providing medical care, or by simply sitting in silence and holding the hand of someone who has suffered a painful loss.
Voices of Compassion
In January 2020, FACE convened a groundbreaking meeting on the epidemiology of compassion and love. We discussed how epidemiologic inquiry is needed to develop and validate metrics that can be used to guide and scale up programs dedicated to cultivating compassion at the individual, organizational, and community levels. The meeting served as a springboard into many new exciting projects related to measuring compassion.
Hear from a few of our participants:
Thupten Jinpa, PhD
Founder and President, Compassion Institute Chair of the Mind and Life Institute, Adjunct Professor of Religion, McGill University
Dominic Vachon, MDiv, PhD
Director of the Ruth M. Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine, University of Notre Dame
Liz Grant, FRSE FRCPE MFPH
Assistant Principal (Global Health), Professor of Global Health and Development, and Director of the Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh
Shams Syed, MD MPH
Head of Policy and Partnerships, WHO Special Programme on Primary Health Care, World Health Organization (WHO); former Lead, Quality of Care, WHO