So if the first step towards compassion is to learn about it (see 12 steps to compassion in the healthcare industry), then what is the second step in the twelve step process of compassion formulated by Karen Armstrong? (TED award winner and renowned thinker.) And, how are we demonstrating it in the healthcare industry?
Step Number Two – Look at Your Own World
Armstrong identifies this as the ability to make fundamental changes in the traditions individuals and communities have inherited. Her feeling is, and I agree whole heartedly, that if we are to create a more compassionate world, we must (ready for the overused phrase) “think outside the box” and identify and develop new ways of dealing with the challenges we face, now and in the future.
So can we, whose work focuses on the scientific, work on compassion and the benefit to the individual and the collective – humanity. Of course we can and frequently do!
My inspiration for this second step is the recognition by the healthcare industry that we have had to look “inside” at our own industry, seen that something was missing and understand that the traditional ideas and approaches are no longer effective in contemporary society. We’ve looked at things from a different perspective and moving out from our corporations, our communities and finally to the patients which are the heart of what we do, and understood that we must co-create with partners on long-term health strategies and outcomes – not just sell pills.
This concern and commitment to community and long-term health with partners is wonderfully demonstrated for me by the AstraZeneca Young Health Programme. This global community investment program is about helping young people in need around the world deal with the health problems they face, improving health outcomes and changes for a better life. It is hoped that a million children will be reached with this global framework, delivering local health benefits and a long-term sustained commitment. And it’s a great partnership with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Plan International, a leading children’s charity.
So until next time, let’s continue to grow as an industry, kinder and gentler.