We don’t just want to be good. We want to be good for something. We found a creative alternative to simply donating money, and each year we settle on a cause in residence, one that we can all believe in and believe we can be a contribution to.
Here are just two examples of compassion catalysts who’ve inspired us over the years.
Sister Celia Puthenpura
Head of St. Mary’s School, Dharamsala, India
CEO, Streetwise Opera
Sites We Like
Books We Like
FUNKY BUSINESS – Jonas Ridderstrale and Kjell Nordstrom KARAOKE CAPITAL – Ridderstrale and Nordstrom
Two Swedish Rock and Roll Economists enlighten and entertain in equal measure – a fast paced look at our fast paced life and where it’s going – commercially and socially.
THE TIPPING POINT/BLINK/DAVID AND GOLIATH – Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell’s intellectual spirit meets his masterful storytelling and all three books are great reads. How little things make a big difference, how we think without thinking, and how underdogs and misfits can be improbably victorious.
PURPLE COW – Seth Godin
Seth writes like one big soundbite, so it won’t take you long, but it will stop you in your tracks from time to time. Some great one liners in here, and fabulous stories of brands and products that are some hue of viole
THE HUNGRY SPIRIT?THE EMPTY RAINCOAT – Charles Handy
Handy’s now an elder statesman of business gurus, and the forefather of the spirituality in the workplace movement. A beautiful mind, beautifully expressed in a way that’s timeless and timely.
MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING – Victor Frankl
Victor Frankl was a prisoner in Auschwitz who survived the camps and went on to be a renowned psychiatrist, founding his own school of psychiatry – Logotherapy. The first half of the book is a diary of his time in the camps – as heart-warming as it is heartbreaking – the second half, the aftermath and its effect. It’s a slim book tackling a big subject, and a testament to the indomitability of the human spirit.
THE FOUR AGREEMENTS – Don Miguel Ruiz
Ruiz narrows down some of the maladies of the human condition to Four Agreements worth making if you want to have an unconditional relationship with yourself – just at the weight you are, with exactly the intelligence you have … and on.
THE BIG MOO – The Group of 33
Subtitled, stop trying to be perfect and start trying to be remarkable, 32 writers have contributed, Malcolm Gladwell and Tom Peters included. It’s a fast food read with plenty of instant gratification and a few chapters that gave me pause. Check out the one about Gertrude for example. Parables that stick to your ribs and might be worth regurgitating from time to time. Oh and 100% of author royalties go to charity.
THE RULES OF THE RED RUBBER BALL – Kevin Carroll
It’ll take you 15 minutes to read, another 15 to go on Amazon and buy it for everyone you know. This is Kevin’s pocket-guide to finding your way in life …. for the know-madic amongst us who want to bring our working life and life’s work closer together. He’s all about using play, joy and commitment to get the most out of the 86,400 seconds that are in every day.
THE ART OF POSSIBILITY – Benjamin and Ros Zander
Ben Zander is conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and a magnificent teacher, dripping with charisma. Ros is his wife, a psychotherapist and painter. No fluff or mindless aphorisms, instead they present a strategy for living in the world that’s all about possibility and abundance rather than scarcity and restriction. The book won’t ask anything of you, and will guide you as a person, as a leader, as a teacher and of course as a parent.
CAVE IN THE SNOW – Vicki Mackenzie
Born Dianne Perry in England in 1943, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo was only the second Western woman to be ordained a Buddhist nun, at the age of 21. Just over a decade later, after receiving the teachings of Khamtrul Rinpoche, having battled blatant sexism and discrimination of monastic life, she secluded herself in a remote cave 13,200 feet up in the Himalayas, cut off from the world by mountains and snow. There she engaged in a twelve-year intensive retreat, facing unimaginable cold, wild animals, near starvation and avalanches; she grew her own food, meditated for twelve hours a day and slept in a traditional wooden meditation box, three-feet-square – she never lay down and spoke to nobody. Her goal was to attain enlightenment as a woman. This is her story.
AN INTIMATE HISTORY OF HUMANITY – Theodore Zeldin
A moving reflection of how we’ve become who we’ve become, and an artful look at how diversity, compassion, curiosity and love for fellow humans are waiting to emerge. For me the perfect proof that we’ve all been here before. No-one could amass this much curiosity and intelligence in one lifetime. Not for the faint of heart, it’s a book that demands participation. A must read for anyone who has an inkling of hope for a new humanity.
CARE OF THE SOUL – Thomas Moore
Self described as a guide for cultivating depth and sacredness in everyday life. This one is seminal, and Moore is an internationally renowned theologian and ex catholic monk. By nurturing the soul in everyday life we can all cultivate dignity, peace and depth of character. An antidote to ‘fake it till you make it’.
TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING – Sogyal Rinpoche
A beautiful exposition of Buddhist teachings and philosophy and an acclaimed spiritual masterpiece. You’ll know more about meditation, karma, the Jewels of Buddhism by reading this than any other. In the words of the New York Times: “this is what Dante might have written had he been a Buddhist metaphysician rather than a Christian poet.”
DARING GREATLY – Brene Brown
Brene is at the forefront of the work being done to explore vulnerability and living life wholeheartedly. Funny compassionate and wise, she shares her practical take on accepting yourself for who you are, glorious imperfections and all.