What I learnt from Monica Lewinsky…

She had me at “I was publicly silent for a decade”. Monica Lewinsky’s recent TED talk is confronting, courageous & heart felt.

I realised in that moment that I hadn’t noticed that she never had a voice throughout that whole debacle. Sure I took note of her choice of headwear. A beret? Seriously? Not that I can claim my choice of attire has always rocked. In fact – not sure it does now?

However – I digress. The point is that we never actually got her side of the story. But I didn’t notice. Did you? Why didn’t I care? Was I simply caught up in the drama, the gossip, swept up in the opinions of those around me? Such a silly girl. Scarlet woman. Dangerous home wrecker.

I don’t recall anyone making the case for the young woman who fell for her boss. As evidenced in the packed TEDx audience – there aren’t many (if any) people who can claim to have made consistently stellar decisions in their 20s.

But the point is – did any of their decisions receive the public scrutiny that she endured? Brutal. I didn’t once consider her well being? Her family? Did you? Would you? Do you?

Rather than getting an injection with a sharp needle by a compassionate operator – it would be like finding yourself in the hands of a clumsy Shrek like beast who’s determined to use a rusty blunt barbed needle. Not only will it be painful going in – it will be excruciating getting it out… Ouch!

Could you watch that?

When you see cruelty or injustice do you speak up? Report it? Send kind words to the human behind it? Or passively condone it by doing nothing?

We are constantly blasted with information today. This can cause immense pressure to know more, do more, have more, earn more, be more, portray ourselves as “more”. (The scourge of “not good enough” is a topic for another time!) But at what point do we decide that enough is enough.

Monica has kicked off the conversation – do we want to be part of a world full of “compassionate upstanders” or “apathetic bystanders”?

Marching the streets, signing petitions and taking action is all good. However I believe it’s enough to start by being aware of what we are unconsciously letting happen. Or the choices that we are making (conscious or not). Noticing opportunities to be compassionate. Having the conversations.

Not clicking through to harmful gossip. Noticing that Bob from accounts is having a rough time.

Remembering the human side (& potential cost) of not being compassionate.

Making a stand – can be as simple as sharing a few kind words to someone who perhaps made a poor decision. What do you do? I’d love to hear from you.

What I learnt from incredible Monica Lewinsky…. is the crucial need for compassion. By the way – that includes being compassionate with yourself too.

That’s more than enough from me 🙂

cheers muchly for your time – here’s to a more compassionate world,

Amy 🙂

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