Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

Our Political Candidates Need to Go Back to Compassion School

Judith Orloff - Thursday, January 26, 2012

Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s NY Times bestseller “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

All our political candidates need to be sent back to compassion school. They need to take vows before they run for office that they will have compassion for we the people, for each other, for our global family, for the earth. These candidates need to become more than talk show hosts or master of ceremonies trying to woo us for votes. We condone such terrible behavior on television, candidates attacking each other, doing anything to win. Politicians shouldn’t be allowed to act so hatefully anymore.

I miss the time of the Philosopher Kings, creative thinkers with a conscience who were connected to the mysteries of human life and the universe. People who could get beyond their egos to see there is a greater meaning and purpose to leadership than grandiosity or power.

As a physician, I have devoted my life to helping patients heal hatred, self-loathing, and fear to get beyond their egos to experience the power of their hearts. True wellness can never occur if compassion isn’t a key ingredient to how we lead our lives. In my book “Emotional Freedom,” which proposes an ongoing experiment in compassion, I stress how mental, physical, and spiritual health is contingent on it. Compassion is the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes, to have empathy for their feelings--even if you don’t like someone, even if you disagree with every word they say. This doesn’t make you a doormat or a pushover. It gives you the clarity of heart to make positive, smart decisions whether you stay in a relationship or not. When you can see where someone else is coming from, not through judgment but a desire to improve communication, we have a chance of transforming the world.

There are many arguments to perpetuate the bad behavior of politicians. These all break my heart. For instance, the argument that “attack ads work.” When this is cited as a good reason why candidates use them, it makes many people want to give up on human nature. Who cares if they “work” or not except for power hunger egomaniacs? Hatred begets hatred. There is no compassion here. There is no respect for the honor of the political process or the human beings engaged in it. Why would we ever want someone to be our leader who is hateful, vindictive, and lusts only for the aphrodisiac of power? Many people tell me, “It’s too late. Our system is broken.” I believe compassion is so powerful it can heal even broken systems.

I propose that every prospective candidate sign these vows of compassion before they are even allowed to run. They must be committed to national and international wellness. If they don’t fulfill these vows they need to be called on it with the same vehemence of any candidate who betrays their campaign promises. Compassion is one key factor that makes a candidate fit to run. It’s really not as complicated as everyone is making it. Compassion is a vow that can change everything, for us as individuals and for the political process.

7 Compassionate Vows for Political Candidates

1. I vow to value compassion in everything I do.
2. I vow to treat my fellow candidates with respect.
3. I vow to honor our country & our people by being a positive role model who embodies the good.
4. I vow not to be a fear monger in my speeches or in the media to garner votes.
5. I vow to put the welfare of this country and the earth above greed.
6. I vow to fight for the well-being of the earth and all its resources.
7. I vow to advocate national and global wellness to spread happiness on earth.

It’s vital that we keep it simple and not give lofty intellectual excuses for why we and the candidates can’t try to be good, loving people in all our affairs. You can call me naïve, but I believe that to save the human race and this magnificent planet we are on, compassion must be part of our daily prayer. Some days we many achieve it, other days we won’t. But we have to want compassion, to fight for it, to vote for leaders who are committed to it. Leaders must earn our trust with the compassion they show. World leaders can be compassionate and also be strong, intelligent, and make decisions based on the welfare of all our human family.

Click on link to watch a video on how to Transform Frustration with Patience


Judith Orloff, MD is author of The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive Healing. Connect with Judith on  Facebook and  Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff's books and workshop schedule, visit her website.

Karen Langford commented on 26-Jan-2012 07:34 PM
Very good article! And I agree! What on earth has happened to our politics lately? I don't remember it being this bad before. The hate, bigotry, ignorance, and lying that is happening is outrageous. Here is my belief. We are in a spiritual awakening, or
a spiritual cleansing. Everything that is not working in our lives and in our world is coming to the surface. Think of it like getting a cut on your finger, it gets infected, and the pus has to come up before it can be cleansed and healed. This is what we're
seeing these past few years. In our government, politics, education, health care, banks, financial, churches, our personal lives, and on and on it goes. It is only until we can see what ISN'T working before we can clear away the pus and heal it. Maybe that's
part of what 2012 is all about? Thanks again!
Lucinda Merritt commented on 26-Jan-2012 07:40 PM
This is fabulous and I agree 100% with everything you have said. Now...how do we make them pay attention?
Myra commented on 26-Jan-2012 07:44 PM
You left one very important thing! Ron Paul embodies wholly the compassion you speak of. Why are you not giving him this credit? Factual "attack" ads against candidates that behave like charismatic psychopaths MUST be EXPOSED for their deceit. The media
has no laws in our country that make it tell us the truth. In fact they won in court and are able to lie, twist, and deceive the population. This is at our peril. I have several of your books, please do more research and understand the people you condemn.
Ron Paul is highly compassionate, and has shown much class and incredible patience with the vicious media twisting his message, telling flat out lies to hide from the public the candidate that will actually work for them. Ron Paul is the only one who doesn't
accept bribes from lobbyists, and he is known as incorruptible. He is the only one not funded by the big banks, tje only only one talking about the real issues and not misdirecting. He. Is only one who follows the law and has his entire career, the only one
not to retire off of taxpayer money ( which they can do after serving only one term!) I can go on and on. Please research Ron Paul and do not lump him in with psychopaths & snake oil salesman he is surrounded by. Thank you.
Shirah Penn commented on 26-Jan-2012 07:56 PM
I totally agree with you 100%. Besides your wonderful book "Emotional Freedom" I also recommend they be encouraged to take the parenting course Redirecting Childrens Behavior by Kathryn Kvols. Love Gramma Shirah Penn
Sue Cooney commented on 27-Jan-2012 01:59 AM
Outstanding! Such clarity. Also helping others (the people) to consider that such a way of being is not only possible but an imperative.
Anonymous commented on 28-Jan-2012 10:45 AM
American success is linked to the success of all humankind. Thomas Payne Common Sense 1776
amazon gift certificates commented on 13-Feb-2012 03:13 PM
You really make it seem really easy together with your presentation but I find this topic to be really one thing which I believe I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely wide for me. I'm taking a look forward for your
next submit, I'll attempt to get the hang of it!
Lu commented on 22-Feb-2012 01:34 PM
I agree totally! I am sick to death of these negative campaigns that benefit no one, not even the victors who then have to live with themselves after behaving so badly, and who have accrued all the negative karma--yes, it will come home to roost!--for
spreading lies and nastiness. One reason I voted for Barack Obama was because of the gentlemanly way in which he responded to Hillary and Bill Clinton's negative attacks. Even though I certainly don't approve of all he's done, I will most likely vote for him
again--in part for that same reason. At times, and more and more often, he looks like the only adult in the playschool that passes for American politics.
Al Farthing commented on 22-Feb-2012 02:00 PM
Your essay and 7 principles is quite excellent, and one can only hope to see this reflected in actual practice. I have watched some of the Republican debates, and apart from Ron Paul I am jaw-dropping astonished at the sly, deceptive, character assasination
tactics and language used. We are a little less cantankerous here in Canada, but each year sees us sliding further and further down the splippery slope that lately has dominated the election process in a Country that I and most Canadians love.
Bob Kuebler commented on 22-Feb-2012 02:15 PM
Imagine a compassionate country who votes for compassionate people. I have heard it said that everyone who reaches into the upper levels of elected government is bought and paid for. I listen to politicians talk about compassion and yet show a callous
disregard for unborn children. Compassion for all children will eventually lead to compassionate politicians. Thanks for a great article.
Elda commented on 22-Feb-2012 02:49 PM
I've been saying this for years. Thanks for putting it out there on a broader scale. I'd be happy if they'd just stop with the slander and instead focus on their own personal strengths! Politics 101. In the meantime, I guess we just keep spreading the
good word. Maybe start a petition?
Anonymous commented on 22-Feb-2012 03:42 PM
I have been wishing that all the political leaders would read "The 3rd Alternative" by Steven Covey. Talks about each side really listening and understanding other viewpoints, not just reacting to an ideological label, and then both (sll) sides using their
creative, out of the box thinking to create synergy. Better than compromise - finding ways to reach a goal that everyone is happy with.
Gabriele Neumann commented on 23-Feb-2012 02:03 AM
BRAVO!!! That is exactly what I am thinking and feeling since I am a child and are able to understand what is happening in the world! So true, so needed, and such a different outlook! And: the same applies to all leaders in the world, especially to those
in the corporate world, banking, pharmaceutical industry.... ohhh think about that. My background is in HR, personnel & organisational development. These thoughts have always been part of any programme we created especially for leaders, I am looking forward
to co-create and cooperate in this endeavour!! Many blessings, Gabriele
Annemarie Osborne commented on 23-Feb-2012 06:35 AM
Dr. Orloff presents ideals to which I subscribe, her books have helped me immensely in healing my wounded inner child. The political environment that has evolved over the years, discourages people of compassion, who think deeply, from entering public office
as they are much too sensitive to survive the attacks and the institutionalized corruption. The superficiality and narcissism that is evident amongst the candidates reflects a greater problem in our culture: personality cults that pay homage to fame, fortune
and appearance. When a large percentage of the populace spends more time escaping from "reality" by watching the latest escapades of reality show characters or being hypnotized by spectator sports, then critical thinking ceases to exist. We can only hope that
enough people awaken to a higher consciousness, so that an energetic shift can elevate humanity to a higher level of truth and compassion.
Erhard commented on 23-Feb-2012 12:26 PM
Yes, getting bigger and bigger, the circle of people who demand new thinking. More spirituality and mediality develops :-) Love respect and trust for ourselves, for others, for the whole of nature and the environment. That's all Do we love ourselves and
our neighbors! Do we respect ourselves and our neighbors! Let us entrust ourselves and our neighbors! three words Love + respect + trust = Peace It's that simple. Love respect and trust for ourselves, for others, for the whole of nature and the environment.
That's all Do we love ourselves and our neighbors! Do we respect ourselves and our neighbors! Let us entrust ourselves and our neighbors! three words Love + respect + trust = Peace It's that simple. Love, respect and trust for ourselves, for others, for the
whole of nature and the environment. That's all. Do we love ourselves and our neighbors! Do we respect ourselves and our neighbors! Let us entrust ourselves and our neighbors! three words Love + respect + trust = Peace It's that simple.
goal setting commented on 23-Feb-2012 05:45 PM
I've noticed whenever a political leader or member of government expresses compassionate emotions like crying or even getting choked up, they are criticized for being weak. The higher rank the politician holds, the greater the criticism against it. And
if it's a woman, look out. Is this just my own perception or has anyone else noticed this?
Ruth commented on 25-Feb-2012 12:55 PM
You are correct in everthing you say but there is one other issue that I would include. There is no place for religious beliefs in political policies. We have so many different religions and personal beliefs in this country that to force one or the other's
beliefs on the whole population is not part of our constitution's purpose. It's time we eliminated religion out of covernment and let it remain with the individual.
Dream Pharmacy commented on 24-Apr-2012 12:08 AM
Asking questions are truly good thing if you are not understanding anything fully, except this piece of writing presents good understanding yet.
Rachel commented on 04-Jun-2012 06:26 PM
I concur! We could easily do this but it would take a courageous person with the ability to stand up and not falter to end all of this “taking sides” and/or “each man for himself” way of being, which sadly seems to be the new norm… If we could only abide
but what our forefathers painted on the dome of the US Capitol “e pluribus unum” (We are all in this together), we could soar!!!
Skip Trace commented on 28-Sep-2012 01:58 PM
I have to agree with this "Why would we ever want someone to be our leader who is hateful, vindictive, and lusts only for the aphrodisiac of power? Many people tell me, “It’s too late. Our system is broken.” I believe compassion is so powerful it can heal even broken systems."..more power
Anonymous commented on 24-Oct-2012 04:13 PM
The basis for centering and protection is grasping where we get caught, and then disengaging the trigger.
zahid commented on 21-Nov-2012 12:55 PM
Such clarity. Also helping others (the people) to consider that such a way of being is not only possible but an imperative.

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