What Makes a Compassionate City?

Kate White: HOBART — a compassionate city

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

  • IMG_20190813_104137What makes a compassionate city/community?

Kate White: A compassionate city is one where everyone feels they have a place, are included, welcome, important, valued and seen.

I believe a compassionate city or community is one where anyone of any age is able to be safe, free, and joyous.

People within a compassionate city cultivate a growth mindset. Abundance is celebrated and shared.

Love, not fear, is the defining feature of a compassionate city. Consciousness-raising is an active value.

  • How do you personally measure compassion?

Kate White: The presence of love over fear.

  • What do you do to contribute to creating a more compassionate community and world?

Kate White: I actively work to bring love to my interactions and my belief systems. Through compassion, I am open to understanding. Through compassion I know that I am connected to every other living creature on the planet. Compassion is my balm.

I believe that one person’s compassion has a ripple effect throughout society. I know that my power to change the world lies within my ability to be compassionate. To never close my heart, but rather keep it open to love so that separateness doesn’t creep in.

  • Where is compassion needed in your city? Where does it exist?

Kate White: Compassion is needed so desperately in my city. Childhood trauma, elder abuse, mental illness, social isolation, disadvantage, animal cruelty, bullying… on and on! I want the light of compassion to ignite in the hearts and minds of the people in my city, and heal these generational wounds.

Compassion exists in all those areas where people are generous, for example through volunteering, in those who are actively engaged in caring for others, in reducing suffering of other sentient beings. It exists in good relationships between individuals, like neighbours who look out for each other, and for elderly people in aged care who get visits from their local kindergarten. It exists in everyone’s hearts, it just needs attention and reigniting.

  • If your city was one of compassion, what would that look like? What is your idea of a compassionate city?

Kate White: Instead of getting all the revenue from parking fines, the City Council would donate to a compassionate cause like housing for the homeless, or supporting children’s welfare in foster care.

We could start a compassion-raising movement here – radical compassion! See how many loving (plutonic) acts people could achieve. The Mayor could champion the cause, and I would love to see a compassion-in-all-policies approach within government decision making.


~Kate White — I want compassion to be a radical movement in our society.

I have a PhD in governance for sustainability, and work in a national role in socio-environmental policy, within a ‘for-purpose’ / not-for-profit health promotion organisation.

Copyright ©2019 Excellence Reporter

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