Karuna, in Sanskrit, means compassion; to oneself and to others. Karuna is part of the spiritual path in Buddhism.
Karuna is a word close to corona. Perhaps, in fact, the key to getting out of the corona virus is the karuna virus, as Alexandre Jollien says. This means compassion, care, caring for others, generosity, altruism, solidarity. All these words describe concepts that, in the last decades, have been meaningless, have not found their place in the business environment, in the world in which we have always been on the run, individualists, looking for results, productivity, efficiency.
This extreme focus on having results at work, on ‘doing well’, promoting, having as much money as possible, being seen by bosses, showing how efficient, irreplaceable we are, too much emphasis on ourselves, to the detriment of a more holistic approach to our lives as a whole, came with damage. Maybe we don’t see them immediately, maybe we choose to ignore them, but I think that in most cases, the pay bill also comes.
Obviously, things can’t change quickly. We all need compassion, we all need to be seen, listened to, understood, appreciated. In order to get what we need, I would say that we need the approach that Adam Grant talks about: first to give, then to ask (Adam Grant, Give and Take).
If we want something from others, it is desirable for us to shape the behavior we expect. If I want to be seen, let me see the others first. If I want others to give me their time, let me give first. If I want to see that someone cares about me, I’ll be the first to show that I care.
Of course, there will be people who will not answer, who will answer negatively. It’s okay, that way we can do a sorting around us.
But I think that we have great chances to cure ourselves of hatred, extreme individualism, that we will have better results, as groups and as a society, we will be better for each one, when we impregnate this ‘karuna’.
I will end with a question taken from Nietzsche, from ‘Human, all too human’: what can you do today, when you wake up, to make someone happy?