It takes dedication, hard disciplined work, and intensive training before a dancer can move with unearthly grace and perform feats that are impossible for an untrained body.
In the same way, people have found that when they practice compassion assiduously, all day and every day, they achieve new capacities of mind and heart.
From a scientific point of view, can you cultivate compassion towards yourself and others, and with what results? What are examples of good practice in applying empathy and compassion in policy, management, education, healthcare and social action?
Leading experts will gather for the first time in London in November to investigate the applications of empathy and compassion for public sector professionals at the groundbreaking conference Empathy and Compassion in Society.
The conference will be preceded by a special youth event for 300 teenagers, who will meet the experts to discuss the question: “Don’t you have to be ruthless to succeed in life?”
Research and on-the-ground experience are changing our understanding of the value of empathy and compassion, both for our professional lives and personal well-being.
“Cultivating focused care towards others has major impacts on our brain, immune and stress systems,” says mental health professor Paul Gilbert, who will speak at the conference. “The compassionate mind has a very different effect on our brains, bodies and styles of social relating from that of the competitive mind.”