Compassion Pandemic: the best thing to emerge in 2020

2020 has been a very challenging year. The worldwide health crisis triggered by COVID-19 has been significant and, for many of us, has directly affected our families and friends. Before we bid farewell to this ‘annus horribilis’, I wanted to reflect on the ‘not-so-horribilis’ things that have emerged.

And I put compassion at the top of the list.

The word compassion comes from the Latin word ‘pati’, meaning to suffer, and the prefix, ‘com’, means with. Compassion literally means to “suffer with”. The connection of suffering with another or others means that compassion stretches beyond sympathy into empathy, kindness and a willingness to help others.

For me, compassion can mean everything from looking after the most vulnerable in our community, to helping a friend or neighbour having a tough time, to being a good listener.

Compassion is also an essential part of being a good leader; research has shown compassionate leaders are seen as more competent and more trusted. And not only that, but being compassionate is essential if you want to be part of a happy and highly functioning team.

We’ve all had a tough year in our own way; and as many commentators have pointed out, compassionate leadership is even more important in times of crisis such as the global pandemic.

Looking forward

2021 will be a year of opportunity but also of continued challenges. The health crisis is not over yet.


What gives me enormous confidence as we enter 2021 is the great strength, resilience, commitment of our society to make the most of an unprecedented situation. 2020 has been a year of huge shifts, which, if we use them wisely, will set up a better future for all of us.


 On a personal note

I am personally so grateful for the support and commitment of our team – humans and horses – here at Leading Edge Professional Development, Leading Edge Life Skills and from our international partners, Equine Connection – The Academy of Equine Assisted Learning.

To think we were able to convert our almost exclusively in person courses to an online format without losing the essence of what we do is an amazing accomplishment.

Compassion is an important focus of what we do at Leading Edge. Confidence, consciousness, compassion are our core values – I think we need to add commitment and courage to those now too as we head into 2021.

For more information or to register for our free upcoming Wholistic Leadership webinar, send us an email