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Survival of the Kindest

We are all learning how to keep kindness at the forefront of our daily interactions, how connecting with others can keep loneliness at bay, and how compassionate communities are emerging all over the world. The new podcast ‘Survival of the Kindest’ comes out of the international compassion movement that puts kindness at the heart of our lives, our towns, and our healthcare. Expert in compassionate communities and former palliative care doctor, Julian Abel, welcomes specialists each week to discuss the many ways to have a long and happy life.

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We are all learning how to keep kindness at the forefront of our daily interactions, how connecting with others can keep loneliness at bay, and how compassionate communities are emerging all over the world. The new podcast ‘Survival of the Kindest’ comes out of the international compassion movement that puts kindness at the heart of our lives, our towns, and our healthcare. Expert in compassionate communities and former palliative care doctor, Julian Abel, welcomes specialists each week to discuss the many ways to have a long and happy life.

Survival of the Kindest: Lisa Keefauver - Holding Space and Bearing Witness

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Our guest this week, Lisa Keefauver, is a grief and empathy expert. In this extraordinarily tender and moving podcast Lisa talks to Julian about her career and her life which have led her to her current work now, educating people on how to be there for those in grief, and how as a society we can better accommodate those who are grieving.

CW Rape

Nov 10 2021

1hr 24mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Sue Merriman - We Need to do Something

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Often when we think of communities coming together we talk in grand terms about organising, and being motivated by compassion, and it can be hard to pin point what that looks like in more granular, and day-to-day terms. Sue Merriman, and the community of Brereton embody this.

Sue talks to Julian about how the community response to COVID grew naturally out of people such as herself, who saw others who were struggling, and stepped up.

Recently Brereton was the first to become an accredited Compassionate Community, and throughout this episode it is not hard to see why. From the way they have spent their lottery grant, contacting nearly every member of the area to find out what they want, to sitting with people in their last and lonely moments during covid, this is a community built on one and other, and that runs thanks to the compassion of its members, and its organisers.

Brereton Million Twitter Website

Oct 26 2021

1hr 2mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Nobuko Miyamoto - Evolutionary Processes

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This week Julian talks to Nobuko Miyamoto about her art which spans all media and practices, and in which community plays a large role. 

In this episode Nobuko talks about how she came to understand her own position in American culture as a Japanese American women, how passing as Puerto Rican in Westside story made her look deeper into the culture and community in America, how the black panthers spoke for so many people, how the Vietnam war shaped her youth and her future, and about how Art threads through it all. 


The knowledge embedded in community is something that comes up a lot on this podcast and this episode is no exception, and Nobuko has such a deep understanding of community practice, and the benefits it brings. 

Nobuko Miyamoto Website, Twitter

Great Leap LA Website

Oct 19 2021

1hr 24mins

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Survival of the Kindest: MINI SERIES - Ep 3 of 3: How and Why Social Health Impacts Disease

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In the final part of our mini-series which has been focusing on how and why our social health has impacts on our physical health Julian talks to Cormac Russell. Having described the how and why social relationships are so important to human health and wellness, in so many different ways, the next question is what on earth can we do about it. There is no better place to start than with Cormac’s work, Asset Based Community Development. Cormac describes how community building works, how it must be built on relationships and what is strong in communities and how professionals need to prioritise this over their services. It is only through the relationships that are built through community can we hope to solve the many, many problems the world faces.

Transcript available here on our website

This week Julian talks with Cormac Russell, student and expert practitioner at the same time of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) and founder of Nurture Development. Cormac grew up in rural Ireland, embedded in the warmth of his community. He studied psychology and philosophy to doctoral level, working in the field of child psychology. His ambition to do what is helpful to his fellow citizen, combined with clear insight into what he was doing, led him to believe that institutions were not the way to best help the children contained within them. As Cormac quotes ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Children are in need of security, physical and emotional nourishment and a sense of belonging, much of which is best provided by communities. He researched different initiatives that might help develop this approach and when he came across the work of John McKnight he instantly recognised that this approach provided exactly what he was looking for. 

Cormac spent the next few years communicating with, learning from and implementing the work of ABCD, initially within child psychology. But he knew his time was up and that ABCD had so entranced him, he started Nurture Development to spread it more widely. Over the last 20 years, he has travelled the globe supporting communities and professional organisations, whether this be healthcare, social care, political bodies and others, to start using community development. The starting point of this, as Cormac says, is to find out what is strong, not what is wrong. It is also to discover the gifts we all have that can benefit our community. And a gift is not a gift without a receiver, so we had better work out how we can give this gift and who it might benefit from it. Communities are built from there. Cormac’s latest book, Rekindling Democracy: the professional’s guide to working in citizen space’, highlights the journey for professionals and community members alike on how to become community builders rather than community disablers. Nurture Development now have a training platform, The Community Renewal Centre, for anyone who is interested and willing to dip their toes into the world of Asset Based Community Development 

Things mentioned on the podcast:

Cormac Russel - Rekindling Democracy

Cormac Russell Twitter

Centre for Community Renewal

Asset Based Community Development

Angela’s Ashes

John McKnight Building Communities From the Inside Out

Peter Macfadyen Flatpack Democracy

Blog about Pokot

Holly Prince episode of SotK

Parker Palmer

Peter Block

Jody Kretzmann 

Tom Dewar

The Littlest Hobo

Julian Abel can be found on Twitter

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Oct 12 2021

1hr 19mins

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Survival of the Kindest: MINI SERIES - Ep 2 of 3: How and Why Social Health Impacts Disease

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''How the world we live in, the things around us, the things in our head, the people around us, how all of that kind of stuff gets into our bodies and changes the way the genome functions''

This week Julian talks to Dr Steve Cole, Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences who has a fantastic understanding of precisely how stress, and life in general, changes us on a cellular level. Having discovered in his some of his earliest research that gay men with HIV in the closet were getting sick and dying ‘20 to 30% faster than those who were out of the closet’ he came to realise that there were huge gaps in our understanding of how illness affects people differently and genetics was not answering all of the questions. 


In his work since, and throughout this podcast, Dr Cole has elucidated the historic and evolutionary reasons that our immune system shuts down when we are dealing with stress, or lonliness, or PTSD, and the like. He talks about what is happening in our cells that means that people who live under duress develop certain illnesses at much higher rates than those that don't, how this plays out in racialised communities, and what the opposite is of this on a cellular level. What are the types of happiness, and what do they bring? And how can we plan for that at a population level.

ELEVATE COMPASSION - FREE Lunch and Learn

Join a unique session with three leading compassionate community developers in Canada, expect a lot of conversation, resources to help create more compassion within your community, and a new network of people in Canada and North America.

Register Here

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Oct 06 2021

1hr 29mins

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Survival of the Kindest: MINI SERIES - Ep 1 of 3: How and Why Social Health Impacts Disease

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As part of a three part series we are rebroadcasting three episodes that make up the how and why social health impacts disease. The first one is this episode with Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad. Her research speaks for itself.

All of these podcasts highlight the importance of social interaction, the importance of compassion, the importance of research and new ideas in this arena, and the importance of being kind to ourselves and to others.

This weeks episode is with Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad. Her CV is impressive and her cannon of work has been making huge moves to change the way we live our lives in silos and with increasing deficiencies in our social relationships.

Transcript available here

Dr Holt-Lunstad is a psychologist at Brigham Young University and a fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and Association for Psychological Science. In this fascinating conversation she discusses her major pieces of research (on how relationships impact health and mortality rates, on how loneliness also affects this, and her current study on the impact of relationships between clinicians and patients) on working with Vivek Murthy, addressing the senate, working with the app Nextdoor and on her hopes, wishes and designs for the future. Dr Holt-Lunstad’s papers show irrefutably the positive impact on mortality that social relationships have, and ‘with every increase in social connection there was a decrease in risk’. 


In the past year the world has seen more rifts and traumas come to the fore that many of us could have imagined to be possible; from the pandemic, to the wildfires, to the aggression towards black bodies (particularly men) across the world, and so much more. Dr Holt-Lunstad’s work gives us the opportunity to heal some rifts and shows that something as simple as 'interacting with our neighbours might be a way to heal some of the political divisions’, something that is more needed now than ever, and will only grow more important in days to come. 

The app Nextdoor can be found here


Dr Julianne Holt-Lunstad’s twitter


Julian Abel can be found on Twitter

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Sep 29 2021

1hr 11mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Jane Harris and Jimmy Edmonds - The Grief Journey

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After losing their son Joshua in a road accident in Vietnam, Jane and Jimmy were thrown into the reality of what all parents know to be their worst nightmare. In this episode they talk to Julian about their journey from before Joshua died, through the initial stages of grief, and how they now are both still learning to live in this reality, and how they are helping others through the many films they have made, the retreats that they run, and through their charity the Good Grief Project. 


It is hard to live as a bereaved person in our society. We think of grief as something to move past, or to handle, and as Jane and Jimmy mention - bringing grief into day to day life is largely frowned upon. Their work educates the bereaved and non-bereaved alike, showing us all that there are many ways to be after losing someone, and that the most helpful thing you can do is be content with the heaviness of life and death. 

Good Grief Project website, twitter

Films: All available here

Beyond Good Bye

Say Their Name

A Love That Never Dies

Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van De Kolk

Guests at Beyond the Mask screening:

Kathryn Mannix twitter

Lucy Selman twitter

Amber Jeffrey twitter

Ben and Jack, The New Normal twitter

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Sep 14 2021

1hr 21mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Dr Tyson Yunkaporta - Interdependence

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Dr Tyson Yunkaporta’s book Sand Talk is a favourite Julian’s, and in this podcast Tyson takes us on a tour of indigenous knowledge, looking at how we would have lived in the past, to where we are now, and point at spots in the transition which we are anaesthetised to, but which make little to no sense for helping us to live better, fuller, more responsible lives with less health &c, and general world problems. 


From Tyson’s perspective - one that is hard to disagree with - our use of shame, of division, of punishment, etcetera, is creating spaces for narcissists to lead over people who care, for lies to go unchecked over truth and reason, and unless we learn how to deal with people’s mistakes without piling on shame and guilt in unreasonable amounts, this is only going to continue. 


We can do this through learning how to have boundaries, through stories, through reconnecting with a language which reflects the land rather than one which continues to bifurcate itself into abstraction. There is so much to learn and Sand Talk should be on the reading list of all SotK listeners. 

Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta

The Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

Peter Macfayden Survival of the Kindest episode

Yothi Yindi band

Semiotics: signs and signifiers, how language exists in abstraction from everything else (also see Derrida and Baudrillard if you want to learn more!)

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Aug 31 2021

1hr 21mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Dr Panagis Galiatstatos - Knowledge of the Community

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Panagis was brought up in the warm hearted and closely knit Greek community in Baltimore. He found that he was naturally good at studying. This was no big deal to either him or his friends. His ability in studying was the same as his friend’s athletic ability. Panagis decided that he would become a doctor. After all, no one from his community became a doctor so it would be good for everyone. He had no idea what being a doctor would be like, but he went ahead and trained anyway.

Once he had qualified, Panagis worked in the Johns Hopkins Hospital, near to where he was brought up. Listening in to consultations, he found the advice given to people he knew well from his community was inappropriate. Being told to exercise by walking in a place where someone had been murdered the previous day just wasn’t going to happen. Knowledge of the community, knowledge of people’s lives and the circumstances in which they live, is critical to helping them to avoid disease, lead healthy lifestyles, get regular check ups and manage disease as best as possible in the community once it has arrived. Along with a colleague, he cofounded Medicine for the Greater Good. This programme has grown enormously, and is being rolled out in other centres that make up the Johns Hopkins group of Hospitals.

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Aug 24 2021

1hr 21mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Ben May and Jack Baxter - The New Normal

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For both Jack and Ben the loss of their fathers in their teens and early twenties was the worst thing that could have happened. Grief at any time is awful but for two young men who had such strong and loving relationships to their dads, this was worse than either of them could have imagined and words can’t do justice to the pain that losing your best friend as a young man can do. However, after a fateful trip to the hairdressers Ben and Jack were able to support each other through the varying stages of grief, and eventually started The New Normal charity.

Growing from two men supporting each other to an international community of people who have found a place to speak about and listen to others speaking about grief, Jack and Ben are teaching men, women, and all of us how we can create space for grief, how to live with the pain, and how we can find support and love in others.

Ben May twitter

Jack Baxter twitter

The New Normal website, twitter

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Please rate, review and subscribe as it helps other people find the podcast!

Jul 27 2021

1hr 37mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Dr Saul Ebema - An Agent of Light

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Dr Saul Ebema is someone who stays with you long after you have heard him talk. The work that he does now is enough of an accolade to make him an inspirational person; as a hospital chaplain completing his PhD in meaning making at end of life, he realised that there wasn’t enough out there for chaplains, and no place to share what they knew. What he started then has now grown into a movement which is educating everyone from doctors to non-medical people about what death is, and what spirituality, and community, and kindness, can offer us at the end of our life.

His early life story makes his work today all the more remarkable. Most notably he was torn from a happy family life, by seeing his parents brutally murdered in front of him, and then bounced to refugee camps, to being kidnapped, to more escapes, the murder of his brother, and continues through homelessness, risk of deportation &c.

To say he is extraordinary is an understatement: his honesty about the ever present PTSD, how he has grappled with the many very complex reactions to being consistently dealt such a hand, and how football has been a lifeline as a metaphor for how to bounce back. There is so much to learn about compassion from guests such as Dr Ebema, and his own podcast is another huge source for anyone who wants to draw more on his, and the collective wisdom of hospice chaplains.

This episode contains difficult content.

Hospital Chaplaincy Website

Hospital Chaplaincy Show Website, Apple Podcasts

Julian on Hospital Chaplaincy Show

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Jul 27 2021

1hr 21mins

Play

Survival of the Kindest: Professor Steve Cole - How Does This All Work? Human Social Genomics

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This week Julian talks to Dr Steve Cole, Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences who has a fantastic understanding of precisely how stress, and life in general, changes us on a cellular level. Having discovered in his some of his earliest research that gay men with HIV in the closet were getting sick and dying ‘20 to 30% faster than those who were out of the closet’ he came to realise that there were huge gaps in our understanding of how illness affects people differently and genetics was not answering all of the questions. 


In his work since, and throughout this podcast, Dr Cole has elucidated the historic and evolutionary reasons that our immune system shuts down when we are dealing with stress, or lonliness, or PTSD, and the like. He talks about what is happening in our cells that means that people who live under duress develop certain illnesses at much higher rates than those that don't, how this plays out in racialised communities, and what the opposite is of this on a cellular level. What are the types of happiness, and what do they bring? And how can we plan for that at a population level.

ELEVATE COMPASSION - FREE Lunch and Learn

Join a unique session with three leading compassionate community developers in Canada, expect a lot of conversation, resources to help create more compassion within your community, and a new network of people in Canada and North America.

Register Here

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Jul 19 2021

1hr 29mins

Play

Survival of the Kindest: Matt Hawkins - Compassion in Politics

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In 2017 Matt Hawkins and Jennifer Nadal started a campaign that sought to push compassion as a functional and useful political tool, and since then they have been fighting on all fronts, from training, to lobbying, fundraising, awareness raising, to help MP’s and other people in positions of power to learn how to use compassion as a driver of change. 


In this conversation with Julian, Matt clearly lays out how our whole society is set up to suppress any compassionate and empathetic impulses that politicians, and people, may have. The battle to change this is long, however Compassion in Politic’s approach has been fantastically successful, and gives us all much hope for the future as well as something we can hold on to that can be transformative: ‘Try to adopt compassionate practices in your own life and towards yourself, and you instantly will have transformative change. And because of the way the system doesn't want you to be compassionate, it wants you to feel bad; compassion is not built into our society. So if you do that, you're instantly doing a bit of a rebellious act’

Compassion in Politics DONATE, Twitter

Matt Hawkins Twitter

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Jul 13 2021

1hr 12mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Dr Kwadwo Kyeremanteng - Lasting Experiences

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Dr Kwadwo Kyeremanteng’s remit seems to span the entirety of health care, human care, and the systems that support it. His conversation with Julian weaves together systemic racism, ITU, critical care and palliative care, under the bracket of working hard to make things better for as many people as possible. 

Alongside starting the amazing podcast ‘Solving Healthcare’, he is also an ICU and Palliative care consultant, and has founded the Resource Optimisation Network which is leading research into how hospitals can run more efficiently, by making sure that patient’s are involved in their care decisions; making sure they know how the treatment will affect them in later life, making sure families and friend’s of patients are included in this as well. 

Hearing Kwadwo talk is inspiring, not least because he is building a new vision of a more connected health care system, in terms of clinical practice, as well as in terms of patient-doctor relationships, and a more thorough approach which has a higher awareness of its costs and implications of treatment (human and fiscal).

Dr Kwadwo Kyeremanteng Twitter, Website

Solving Healthcare Podcast Twitter

Resource Optimization Network Twitter

Julian on Solving Healthcare Podcast

Podcast Extra:

Involving people with intellectual disabilities in end-of-life decisions

Understanding Trauma

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Jul 06 2021

1hr 12mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Professor Dacher Keltner - Compassion and Power

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Professor Dacher Keltner’s work focuses on how compassion enriches our life, and how much its absence effects our lives and how the ability to not be compassionate is learned and created. His work is reshaping what we know and understand about kindness, and what seems to be its antithesis, power. He was the advisor for the film Inside Out, which caught many of us unawares with the recognisability of the representation of how we think, how we remember, how we choose, and how all emotions are important, even the hard ones. 


Professor Keltner discusses how our history points towards the need for compassion, how we have misunderstood what Darwin and Adam Smith say, and how we ‘have largely been sold a Neo-liberal lie that misrepresents human nature and what matters’.

If you ever need help please call Samaritans free on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or for America https://suicideprevention.wikia.org/wiki/USA

We have a podcast extra on the Survival of the Kindest podcast. This will be placed at the end of the main interview for those people who make it all the way to the end. Our hope is to create a meeting place for podcast listeners. We would like to see a 2 way conversation amongst people interested in exploring matters relating to compassion. We will chat about latest news, events, feedback, questions, educational activities and whatever our audience see fit to bring up. We at Compassionate Communities UK will be expanding our activities over the coming months, with live events, discussion, education and much more. Please get in touch to let us know your small things that have made big differences, things going on in your area, or anything you want to talk to us about.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Jun 29 2021

1hr 4mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Amber Jeffrey - Life After Loss

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Elevate Compassion Summit Series 17/18 June, FREE registration, online lectures

Amber Jeffrey had her life interrupted at the age of 19 after the sudden death of her mother. Nearly five years on Amber is now at the front of an incredible movement which has brought conversations around grief to areas that it had been previously left out of. So often we associate palliative care, death and dying with cancer and old age. But as Amber and Julian discuss, grief touches everyone young and old, from every community.

Her podcast Grief Gang has welcomed listeners in their thousands, each of them desperate for a community of people who understand what it is to live with grief. The huge instagram following and the heartbreaking honesty of the comments is a testament to the need for what Amber created: space and other people to sit with you.

Amber has both created and collated a huge pile of resources that seem to leave no one left out, creating a minefield of signposts pointing those newly, and oldy, grieved in the direction of support. As a small sliver of example; with 5 other black and brown communities Amber started The Grief Safe Space, and is generally doing incredible work diversifying the bereavement communities. The Grief Gang instagram is packed full of songs, books, comments and tiktoks that have been important to people and there is so much more in this episode and on The Grief Gang’s podcast!

Amber Jeffrey Twitter, Instagram

The Grief Gang Instagram, Twitter, Apple, Spotify

TNN Website

We have a podcast extra on the Survival of the Kindest podcast. This will be placed at the end of the main interview for those people who make it all the way to the end. Our hope is to create a meeting place for podcast listeners. We would like to see a 2 way conversation amongst people interested in exploring matters relating to compassion. We will chat about latest news, events, feedback, questions, educational activities and whatever our audience see fit to bring up. We at Compassionate Communities UK will be expanding our activities over the coming months, with live events, discussion, education and much more. 

If you ever need help please call Samaritans free on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Jun 15 2021

1hr 27mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Dr Shoshana Ungerleider - Ending Well as a Measure of Living Well

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Elevate Compassion Summit Series 17/18 June, FREE registration, online lectures

Shoshana Ungerleider MD is on a mission to make dying, talking about dying, and our whole conversations about how we want to be treated in the event of serious illness, part of our social lexicon.

Along aside her work as a general internist she has been part of two award winning documentaries, both on Netflix, is the host of the TED Health podcast, and has started Endwell - a non profit which has gathered a huge following from all walks to life from artists to medical professionals, by being a place where people can learn how to talk about end of life. What started as a conference has now expanded into a groundswell of action inspiring people to take the time to have these all important conversations; from 10 minutes, to a whole wealth of full lectures.

Endwell

Ted health podcast

Extremis Netflix

End Game Netflix

Take ten

Once Upon a Time in Iraq

Jo Abel Episode

Waleed Nesyif Episode

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Jun 08 2021

1hr 22mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Michael Turner QC - Justice

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Allan Kellehear Lecture Series

Elevate Compassion Summit Series 17/18 June, FREE registration, online lectures

This week Julian talks to Michael Turner QC about how he came to be a lawyer, head of the Criminal Bar Association, and what has motivated him throughout his career to keep defending people we see as criminals.

Michael gives not only a comprehensive overview of how the UK court system works, but a clear and compassionate view on how law works - how justice transcends left, right and central politics, how our society has, of late, had the very idea of a-political justice challenged. The conversation is not only engaging and informative but is a reminder to stay interested in what happens in our courts as it is a microcosm of what is happening in our country in general.

While we might not always think of compassion when we think about the law, and lawyers, Michael’s stories highlight just how necessary it is, how it can totally change the outlook of someone’s life, and how the ability to show compassion and discretion is being stripped away from the UK criminal court system.

We have so far to come to get to the point where we can call ourselves a society where the law has social justice at its core. And Michael’s work, and the work of all lawyers who have taken it upon themselves to defend people who would otherwise be condemned, is such a huge part of it and an inspiration.

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

Jun 01 2021

1hr 56mins

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Survival of the Kindest: Paul Wright - Good Life Conversations

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This week Julian talks to Paul Wright who was suggested by previous guest Angela Fell.

A lot of Paul’s work has inspired what Angela has been doing in Wigan which is high praise and an adequate introduction for Paul’s amazing work.

What is so lovely to hear about Paul’s work is how much focus he puts on small things being the biggest activators of change. He has seen how asking someone how they are, and being a good and proper listener, are the true foundational skills of a cohesive neighbourhood. While it is not a linear process, as he points out, once you have people talking about how they are, and other people listening, then you have a resource for ideas, for change, and for community. Paul has an understanding of this which seems to guide his whole work and life. And the community that he lives in, and we who get to hear about it, are all the better for it.

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

May 25 2021

1hr 23mins

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Survival of the Kindest: BJ Miller - Showing Up Because You Care

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This week Julian talks to BJ Miller. Having started his academic career in the arts, it took a few key events and some time for BJ to come around to palliative care, where he worked as a physician for a time before seeing that many of the soft edges of palliative care are discarded by the medical, despite them being where a lot of care actually takes place. Since then he has worked in organisations that have sought to combine the medical with the other aspects that amount to high quality palliative care. 

His work has been revolutionary for many who have come into contact with it, and his general campaign to teach us to live well in the face of terminal illness has seen him interviewed by Oprah amongst others, has an outstanding Ted Talk, and is oft quoted when people talk about death and dying.  


His current company Mettle Health ‘addresses the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of anyone contemplating their health, or the health of someone they love’. Having been in the healthcare system both as a patient and then as a doctor BJ understands the difficulty of navigating care, in particular when such a life changing event such as terminal illness, is at the centre of it. Mettle Health guide their patient’s through the process, making sure that the whole circle of palliative care is involved - from ensuring the drugs are right, to making sure that those soft edges, the moments of loving kindness, are also scheduled for. 


Hearing BJ and Julian talk about palliative care it is clear how much they have in common, their motivation, and in particular their gradual disillusion with the medicalised, siloed, nature of medicine that led them both to the more holistic environs of death and dying. It is also clear that what they know from palliative care shouldn’t just be refined to those with terminal illnesses. Death and dying is a part of life and we can nurture those soft edges of palliative care from our earliest days - nourishing community, friendship and accountability in our daily lives. 

Follow Survival of the Kindest on Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on Apple, Spotify or wherever you like to listen to get our episodes as they are released.

Email us compassion.pod@gmail.com

May 20 2021

1hr 35mins

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