Suraphat Nuea-on, www.pexel.com
Studies on Public Compassion
Humanity is going through a challenging time, socially, culturally, ecologically and spiritually. No doubt we have grown and advanced a great deal and have achieved many great feats. But our focus on just material growth has also become a monstrous challenge, for it deeply harms our humanity. Even as we celebrate the glittering temples of affluence and consumption, modernity has also scattered the globe with empires of inequality, cruelty and slavery and sites of suspicion, prejudice, conflicts, wars, pain and death. All these scar us deeply – physically, socio-culturally, psychologically, and spiritually – nudging us to take serious note and act. Our individual and collective futures are dangerously at stake. And, there is a battle within, as well as without, to reclaim the compassionate human spirit.
Specifically, the many contexts of human cruelty and suffering we are in today put an urgent demand on us in the academia to reclaim the ‘human’ in humanities (and the ‘social’ in social sciences). In this effort to reclaim the ‘human’, the role of institutions of higher learning, like Xavier University Bhubaneswar (XUB), is very important. They offer dynamic, dialogic and nurturing spaces to influence and to shape the human spirit, directly or indirectly shaping generations of young people and their delicate futures to public causes and wellbeing. What we need today are research studies and learning opportunities to understand the human condition in all its aspects. We need to generate or disseminate knowledge produced by like-minded organisations or institutions that help us to better understand ourselves, our societies, our ecologies and the impact of our decisions. And through this understanding, we can build a world where challenges to our common humanity can be overcome and where public compassion can be nurtured.
Studies on Public Compassion reprint series is a project of the Xavier Centre for Humanities and Compassion Studies.
No.1, 2018: Explicit Prejudice: Evidence from a New Survey (Published, April 2018)