by | Apr 7, 2023 | Ideas |


It’s hard, near impossible, to feel compassion in a general sense. Compassion is from Latin and a literal translation would be ‘to suffer or feel with’. ‘Com’ is with, while ‘passion’ is suffer or feel. It is not an intellectual or conceptual exercise, it is done with our whole selves, our emotions. And it requires us to engage and be present – not in the physical sense, but rather in the sense of being ‘tuned in’ to another.

It is hard to be compassionate without taking on the pain or suffering of the other and making it your own. It is such a fine line. I’m not sure one can ever walk on the line, most of us tend to flit from one side to the other.

Agapé is one of the four different types of love in Greek. One definition from Edward Nason West is ‘a profound concern for the welfare of another without any desire to control that other, to be thanked by that other, or to enjoy the process.

Leadership may be about vision, ideas, and direction. But at it’s root, leadership is about others, about compassion and agapé. Too often we lose sight of this and make it about ourselves, about control. Leadership is specific and compassionate. This does not mean it is weak, but it does mean it is not general and not fear inducing.

And the world need leaders more than ever.

Photo by KOBU Agency


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