Category Archives: Speaking up

I want to make a difference – but what can one person do?

You may be hearing lots of conversations about ‘now’ s the time for change – with COVID-19 creating great uncertainty and also great possibility. You may also be hearing or saying “what can I do, I’m only one person?” The unspoken cry is “what can I do, to get the world to live according to my values, there’s no point just me acting if the rest of the world isn’t”.

But here is the opportunity – the point is living your values because you must, there’s no point if you are not living your values.

And who knows what ‘miracle’ may occur. My current dream is that our current political leaders have a thunderbolt of insight and realise that we need to do things differently and look for new ideas.

And as Economist Milton Friedman – the father of neo-liberalism – said: “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”

So let’s make sure that the ideas lying around and the examples we set, are the ones we want to live by.

Fierce Self-Compassion

A recent article by compassion researcher Dr Kristin Neff raises some important points about different ways of being compassionate. Often people notice a difference between what Dr Neff calls ‘yin, or soft compassion’ when things haven’t been going well, compared with joyful compassion when all is well in our world.


Now this article by Dr Neff, raises another type of self-compassion – fierce self-compassion – when we say ‘Enough.  For my safety and well-being, I must stop allowing that to happen again’.

Whilst it is important in leadership and service roles to listen to the client and to colleagues, it is also important to learn to express our limits. These may be limits on the day – if we are tired / everwhelmed / something negative has happened; or values limits – this is not okay for me to keep  seeing / hearing / experiencing.