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Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

Halcyon's forthcoming 52:52:52 campaign on Twitter will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

To be a catalyst is the ambition most appropriate for those who see the world as being in constant change, and who, without thinking that they control it, wish to influence its direction - Theodore Zeldin

What's Changing? - Compassion



Please see below key recent compassion-related change.


See also:


July 2018

  • A Quartz writer argued that feeling compassion and respect for the creatures around us doesn’t necessarily preclude eating meat. Whether we’re vegans or devout carnivores, our actions will sometimes have ramifications that cause harm to other living things. What’s important, the writer believes, is interrogating our individual ethics and responsibilities.
  • An article on HumanProgress argued that compassion is the emotion that orchestrates need-based help - help toward those worse off than oneself. Our ancestors lived in a world without social or medical insurance, and so they benefit from covering each other's shortfalls through mutual help. If your neighbours are starving and you have food, you can save their life by sharing with them. Later, when the situation is reversed and they share their food with you, your life is saved.



  • "Nobody foresaw the world shortage of respect"1, so compassion and empathy are perhaps our best responses to the growing realisation that even as we watch each other post and connect and feed and comment and tweet, what goes on in other people's heads is becoming ever more puzzling.
  • The term "compassion" has fallen out of touch with reality, argued journalist Krista Tippett, who deconstructs the meaning of compassion through stories, and proposes a new definition, linking it with kindness, "curiosity without assumptions", empathy, forgiveness, beauty, generosity and presence.
  • So let's find and honour and reward meaning-makers and empathisers. Welcome as they are, charters of compassion are just the start - perhaps we need open-source universities of the intimate, "where all generations can exchange experience, culture and hope".2
  • Karen Armstrong, making her wish when accepting her TED Prize, called for a global charter of compassion. Her call for universal outreach chimes well with the idea of xenophilia. She believes that we can all follow the golden rule (i.e "do unto others...), but that we need to now move beyond mere toleration of the other, towards active appreciation of the other. Hers is a fine idea, as long as (a) it can be secular/humanist as well as religious in tone and (b) it doesn't just evolve from a wish into a wishlist - i.e. it will need to specify what tangible benefits might adopting the charter accrue to individuals and societies.
  • Strangers can "see" a person's trustworthy genes through their behaviours, suggested a new study, which found that a single genetic change makes a person seem more compassionate and kind to others.
  • The Charter for Compassion, from Karen Armstrong's 2008 wish ,was designed to create a ripple effect for years to come.

1. Theodore Zeldin, Intimate History of Humanity, p28;

2. Intimate History of Humanity, p31