Podcast #001 - Introduction to Compassion 2.0

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Lori  0:14  

Hello, I would like to welcome all of you to compassion 2.0 the podcast. And this is our introductory session. And so we thought it would be a great idea to have you learn a little bit more about us and about what we're up to here. So I'm here with Carson Kelly, who is the founder of Benevolently and Carson and I initially met as he's starting a movement and movement to build and scale compassion in organizations so that the places that we work in the communities we live in, are not ones that are exclusively oriented around self interest. But Carson envisions places that we live in work to be ones where we can bring a care and concern for other people and create a better place to live and work because of that, so like to welcome you, Carson.

 

Carson Kelly  1:13  

Thank you, Laurie, thanks for doing this with me.

 

Lori  1:17  

So this is an interesting time, Carson, for us to be starting a podcast for the movement of benevolently and the compassion orientation that you have. I'd say that never before certainly in our lifetimes have we seen the need and the impact of being concerned and caring for others. We're in the time of a global pandemic. And there are a lot of people right now who are struggling in various ways. And we have seen this natural inclination in ourselves as humans to reach out to offer support to show up for people around us. And it's really quite extraordinary. And of course, this is something that we wanted to see even before the world was in the state of crisis. And you and I've been talking about how this is such an incredible time to recognize, have people recognized that these acts of care, compassion, kindness, a recognition of others outside of themselves, it feels good. And what would it be like to extend these behaviors, these acts of compassion even after the crisis is over. It's really how to leverage and build the best of what it means to be human. So that not just in these times of extreme crisis, but in our everyday lives. We can continue to not just be self interested, but build connections in other ways. So I think that this time is perfect. For us to bring together a group of people who are building the new normal, as we so often heard about. And I'm curious for you, Carson, how this time of COVID has affected your motivation in what you're building?

 

Carson Kelly  3:18  

Well, I think, for me, it's actually been a very serious affirmation about benevolently and our intention. As you mentioned, you know, we started working on benevolently a year ago, almost really and with COVID coming up, it's from from a business perspective, quite frankly, it's, it's proving our assumptions, namely that there are a lot of people that would like very much to help other people in times of need, but in most cases, they don't know how to approach that. So one of the things that's been very interesting for me to see is just the number of grassroots organizations and efforts from individuals or small groups of people who are addressing via bringing meals to elderly folks or making masks and PP for the frontline workers or any other number of efforts that they're undertaking to help other people, and it's just, it's just coming up, bubbling up, if you will, from the bottom, which is just, it's just a wonderful thing to see.

 

Lori  4:25  

Yes, it's so inspirational. And again, like, Why does it have to stop? Why do we, like people talk about like, going back to how it was, it's like, Sure, there are things certainly we'd like to go back to like being able to have personal contact with people and, you know, maybe not feeling so much fear around finances and all of the things that of course, for our survival, both personally and economically and the well being of our health that we'd like, there is this human behavior that we're seeing and like Why wait till people are in crisis. So it's not just in these times are people are struggling.

 

Carson Kelly  5:07  

That's I couldn't agree more I, again I think COVID is stripped away, not a pretense but a layer that's revealed that what is already existing inside people's hearts and their willingness to help. And I see your point, even when the world comes back to normal whenever that might be or whatever that looks like, I think there is this opportunity to build a new normal and to really capture what we're learning right now and bake it into our more organizations moving forward.

 

Lori  5:40  

Yeah, it's such an incredible opportunity. I agree. I want to just take a step back for just a moment Carson if we can. This podcast is called compassion 2.0. And I think it's important just to speak to those two terms, both the compassion and the two. Point Oh, and if you don't mind, I'd like to just to say a few words about what compassion is. And then I'd like you to talk about what the heck is 2.0. So, compassion, your most people might think that compassion is an emotion or we might have images of Mother Teresa or some very selfless person. And certainly that is an example of compassion, but from a very practical operationalized perspective, how I view compassion and also how the emotions researchers and behavioral researchers view compassion is it's more of a motivational system. And what I mean by that is compassion. How I see it has three parts. The first is it's a really requires an orientation of awareness, awareness outside of ourselves to noticing the world around us, other people specifically in this case, and then the second component of compassion is having a mindset, not of judgment. But of kindness of curiosity, and then the third component of compassion is the willingness to take action. So you see, it's about awareness, mindset and action. And those acts that we take of care and consideration. Those are acts of compassion. And there's a feedback loop. When we act in this way towards others, that actually makes us feel better ourselves. There's research that shows that acts of kindness and generosity activate the well being circuitry in our brain more than anything else, because we're a social species. So while compassion might look really nice and sometimes feel really nice, it actually sometimes takes courage. And it takes intentionality because we have to look outside of ourselves. And especially when we're struggling, our attention can be very self focused. So I think having systems and a community or a normalizing in order organizations where there is a call to look outside the self can help us move from a default state of self interest. That's what I see. As compassion. It's really about taking action to support other people. So tell us about what the 2.0 means.

 

Carson Kelly  8:17  

Well, it's interesting. You mentioned you know, kind of the the idea of Mother Teresa. And there's a an idea of compassion being a virtue and something that the individual carries through their lives as a as a way of being in the world. And I would call that a 1.0 idea. And the two point idea is really the movement of everything that you just described and defined as compassion, becoming a part of the everyday organizations that we are a party, so that might be work, it might be school, it might be a nonprofit we might be involved with, but the idea of being able to organizationally center the organization around compassion, again, as you've defined it, is this 2.0 idea? How do we move it from an individual virtue into an organizational framework? And I think that's what we're seeing in the site Geist, if you will, I mean, up to this point, mindfulness has really been very present and accepted now in the past 10 or 15 years or so as the science has caught up to what, you know, many practitioners have been known intuitively for years. I think there's a similar thing happening with compassion, again, moving in from an individual to an organization.

 

Lori  9:36  

That's great. And what I also see is that as we talk about bringing it into an organization, that it's really helpful to have the inspiration and knowledge of other people who are doing it. And that's what we are creating with our compassion. 2.0 podcast is we will be in conversation with people Who have both a vision and have taken action in creating these systems so that we can build organizations structures, nonprofits that have compassion, or this motivation system to care for and consider the humaneness of others, more normalized.

 

Carson Kelly  10:19  

So we invite you to join us for our podcasts where you can listen in on conversations that we'll be having with some world leaders and bringing compassion into businesses, nonprofits and governments. The podcast will be a part of the overall learning journey. That is the compassion 2.0 community we envision having interactive salons and summit and ultimately an unconference once we're able to get back together physically, but the point of the community really is like you're mentioning to bring a variety of practitioners who are doing this work in their various domains. So We're excited. We're talking to some folks who are coming from law enforcement and even in prisons, we're talking with K through 12 educators and academics and business leadership, nonprofit leadership. So we hope again to have this cross fertilization of ideas and practices as we explore this concept of compassion 2.0 or compassion in the organization from different perspectives and different practices.

 

Lori  11:25  

All right, so we look forward to having you as part of our community and part of the journey and building a world, the new normal, the world where we will be considering not just ourselves but others and bring out the best in what it means to be human. So join us!

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