Compassion is not a panacea. Places where it is harmful


The opposite of Compassion is Ruthlessness. There is sense in ruthlessness when my focus is short term. When I am thinking of only myself. When I fear for my/our survival. Ruthlessness is apt when I am chasing quarterly returns and sales. It is best when I am playing politics and want more power.

If there is only one post for CEO and you are eyeing that ONLY in this term, being ruthless with your dissenters/competitor will serve you. If you want X USD of sales every quarter being ruthless is the only way. If you want to win the next election and you don’t trust your competition, you have to be ruthless.

Is this way of being ruthless sustainable? No easy answer. I will leave that for you to think!

Anyways why should I think of sustainability?! Who am I?! Let me book my profits, get that position, make my money and retire early! There is so much inflation! I have kids! I want that vacation! Ruthlessness is a blessing if you are thinking only of yourself. Don’t bit an eye lid in being ruthless if you want to live like this. Sarcasm aside, we all have tendency to be like this and often we are caught up in these loops. It is just humane.

Every choice has a benefit and a price to be paid. If you are choosing ruthlessness, what is the price you are paying?

Would you want to play politics with your family? Be ruthless with your friends? If you are longing for more trust and intimacy in your relationships what will you do? If your goal is more team collaboration will ruthlessness work? If you want more innovation and file for more patents what will work?

Outside our awareness we all play a lot of ‘games’ with our teams, family and friends. If you want to reduce that and be more authentic. If you want to increase intimacy or at work if you want to build more trust in your teams, increase collaboration and innovation. If you are focusing on developing an institution. If your focus is sustainability not just for yourself but your tribe and even Earth then Compassion is a very good bet!

Compassion is not a panacea. It will not work everywhere. Think about your context and beliefs and then apply it.


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