‘It could… be one of the most dramatic medical breakthroughs of recent decades. It could transform treatment regimes, save lives, and save health services a fortune. Is it a drug? A device? A surgical procedure? No, it’s a newfangled intervention called community.’ George Monbiot, The Guardian
Across the country, general hospital admissions are on the rise. But in a small town in rural England, thanks to the simple introduction of kindness and compassion, that trend has been reversed. And what this town achieved, we can all adopt in our own lives to powerful effect. Through daily mindful acts of care we are capable of changing things for the better, both inside ourselves and for the world around us.
Frome in Somerset isn’t special. It could be any town; it could be your town. And yet the people who live there have a story to tell about the simple, ground-shaking power of compassion. If it came in tablet form, it would be hailed as a wonder of modern medicine. By contrast, it’s entirely free but offers heartening evidence that when human beings make time for each other, the beneficial effects go far beyond the reach of naïve optimism.
‘A culture in which compassion is a prevailing value allows individuals to flourish and bring their talents and gifts to the communities in which they live. Unanticipated possibilities emerge, presenting fresh ways of addressing what previously appeared to be insoluble problems. Hearts are lifted. The case for hope is more strongly made. And as the people who work in this way begin to change the world immediately around them, so too, the wider world beyond begins to change.’ Dr Julian Abel & Lindsay Clarke