We at karuna are so grateful to all of you who have decided to be part of our mission to make the world a happier place by unleashing compassion, and we couldn’t be more excited about the continued growth of our community. Every community is held together by a set of values that each member holds dear and makes an active choice to practice, and karuna is no different. karuna’s core values are compassion, humility, gratitude, transparency, and resilience. Each of these attributes are at the heart of our programs, our operations, and our people. Let’s have a look at each of these values in greater detail and explore how they relate to one another.
Compassion: The word “karuna” is a Sanskrit term that means “a compassionate desire to remove suffering.” Given that this is the name of our social enterprise, it should come as no surprise that compassion is of utmost importance to us. In fact, one of our favorite quotes is from the Dalai Lama, who once said, “One of the secrets of inner peace is the practice of compassion.” Compassion is a sense of shared understanding for the experiences of others, both positive and negative. It is what drives us to help when we see someone else hurting. It is the ability to put ourselves in the position of any other being and extend to them the same kindness we would to our own family or best friend. Compassion is incomplete, however, if it does not include oneself. One must extend the same compassion to oneself as one would to another. Anytime you are hard on yourself, stop and ask yourself, “Would I talk to my best friend this way?” If the answer is no, try to change your approach to one that is gentler, and remember to be patient with yourself.
Humility: Humility is the recognition that we are all part of something bigger than ourselves. It is remembering that no matter what level we might have attained, we are constantly learning and evolving. We will not have all the right answers all the time, and we must be patient with ourselves when we are struggling and not be afraid to seek the guidance of others who can help us in our journeys. Humility does not by any means prohibit celebrating one’s accomplishments, but it does require acknowledging that success is never a solo act and giving thanks to all the factors that contributed to those accomplishments.
Gratitude: No matter what your circumstances are in life, there is always something for which to be grateful. Sometimes it might not be easy to recognize those blessings, but if you search deep within, you are sure to find some of the many forms of beauty that the world has to offer. No gratitude is too big or too small—whether it’s a loving family, a nourishing meal, a fulfilling career, a steady flow of income, a moment of laughter, an enjoyable activity, a warm blanket, or a simple act of kindness. A beneficial practice is to begin or end each day by listing all of the things for which you are grateful. Again, there are no right or wrong answers, as it is personal to you. Even if you are going through a particularly tough time, perhaps you can find a silver lining in the situation, whether it’s a lesson learned or an opportunity to be redirected to something even better. Studies have shown that intentionally practicing gratitude daily for at least 21 days can rewire our neural connections and actually put us in a better mood. The more we practice gratitude, the more we are able to identify things for which to be grateful.
Transparency: Transparency is honesty. It is sharing. It is authenticity and vulnerability. Transparency opens the door for communication and collaboration. It builds trust—a necessary ingredient for all fruitful connections.
Resilience: Resilience is like a tree with strong, sturdy roots in the ground and malleable leaves and branches that change with the seasons and move with the wind. It is what at once keeps us anchored and stable in our values and beliefs while also allowing us to adapt to new situations and to keep moving forward, even in the midst of adversity. Counterintuitive as it might seem, this ability to keep going despite the situation serves to strengthen our roots even more.
What do you value? We would love to see your responses in the comments below. If you value compassion, humility, gratitude, transparency, and resilience, we invite you to be part of our community. You will surely not regret opening yourself up to a life-changing opportunity to make the world and yourself happier, healthier, and stronger withkaruna. Your happiness lives here. Welcome home.