Audacious Compassion 029 Transcript

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:00
Hello, and welcome to the final episode of Audacious Compassion. I’m Melissa.

Gregory Avery-Weir 0:06
And I’m Gregory.

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:07
And today we’ll be having a short little wrap up episode where we kind of talk about lessons learned and how we’re feeling about things.

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:17
And so this won’t be long, but here we are.

Gregory Avery-Weir 0:21
Yeah. We’ve done I guess this is 29 episodes, looking at compassion in situations that I hope that we’ve expressed are always really nuanced.

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:35
Yeah, very few things that are actually simple when you’re on the ground.

Gregory Avery-Weir 0:38
Yeah, we think of empathy is a thing that, that you just do, like, then comes naturally.

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:45

Gregory Avery-Weir 0:45
And I think that, I hope that through our corpus, we’ve helped demonstrate how this is, this is a thing that’s tricky. It’s a skill, you practice, you work at it, sometimes you do better than other times.

Melissa Avery-Weir 0:58
Yeah. And we’ve learned things over this time as well. Like, there are situations I think where if we were to look back at some earlier episodes, you go, Oh, we missed an idea. Or, you know, I read about this thing in this book and stuff like that. So it’s, it’s an ever evolving practice.

Gregory Avery-Weir 1:11
And part of that is that a lot of the prompts that we had weren’t things that we would have thought about as problems or problems we wouldn’t have encountered.

Melissa Avery-Weir 1:20

Gregory Avery-Weir 1:21
And so I think that my view of this stuff has broadened over the course of the of the series.

Melissa Avery-Weir 1:28

Gregory Avery-Weir 1:29
I think we did a good job on on the stuff we put out.

Melissa Avery-Weir 1:32
I think so. Pardon us just self congratulating here on the mic. But you know, ending a podcast is a sad thing.

Gregory Avery-Weir 1:40
Yeah, I’m, I’m sad to to see it go.

Melissa Avery-Weir 1:43
Yeah, like mourning… the sort of mourning of lost opportunity, or lost, lost ritual, you know, there’s sort of a cadence for us.

Gregory Avery-Weir 1:54
It’s, it’s we we got used to doing this.

Melissa Avery-Weir 1:55

Gregory Avery-Weir 1:55
And now we’re gonna be doing other things. And that’s, that’s a thing and and doesn’t… It’s not necessarily… One can mourn a loss without actually moving forward missing anything.

Melissa Avery-Weir 2:07
Exactly. Yep. Yep.

Gregory Avery-Weir 2:09
Yeah. And I think that there are a few kind of general takeaways, stuff that’s come up again, and again, in episodes that if, if you as a listener, find yourself going, “boy, how do I deal with this situation?” some techniques that have come up again, and again.

Gregory Avery-Weir 2:23
One is, is just considering a meta discussion. Instead of, if you’ve got a disagreement or a repeated conversation or something that’s been bugging you, often, it’s useful to talk with a person about the thing that that thing is actually about.

Melissa Avery-Weir 2:41

Gregory Avery-Weir 2:41
You know, don’t rehash–often a conversation or a topic is a lost cause because you’re not really talking about that thing.

Melissa Avery-Weir 2:51

Gregory Avery-Weir 2:52
Like broader.

Melissa Avery-Weir 2:52
Yeah, either either stepping back and, and talking about… sometimes it’s talking about why you’re talking about a thing, right?

Gregory Avery-Weir 3:00
Why are we having this problem, rather than what do we do about this problem?

Melissa Avery-Weir 3:04
Exactly. And so yeah, if you’re finding yourself just coming away baffled from conversations, then that’s, that’s usually a really good technique.

Gregory Avery-Weir 3:11
And sometimes that involves self empathy. And sometimes that involves kind of having a conversation with yourself.

Melissa Avery-Weir 3:35
It can be really easy for us to get sort of caught up in our own heads and our own hearts, for lack of a better phrase, to, like, be stuck in your own feelings, essentially, and have to figure out why am I feeling this way? Why am I so upset? When I feel guilty about saying no, like, all these sorts of things. And then so like, sit down with yourself and like, write it, you know, it could be anything from a journal entry to if you do Nonviolent Communication, then busting out your feelings and needs cards.

Gregory Avery-Weir 3:46
Yeah, it’s, it’s tricky, because in part, you’re having those difficult feelings that can get in the way of understanding.

Melissa Avery-Weir 3:54

Gregory Avery-Weir 3:55
And so it’s, it’s, it’s hard to take a step to the side and actually consider yourself and how you’re doing.

Melissa Avery-Weir 4:01
Right. And it’s, it’s really helpful. It helps with anything from temper, like, kind of in a long term view of like, why am I angry all the time?

Melissa Avery-Weir 4:11
To kind of in the moment, I’m in this situation, and I don’t know what I want, or, you know, I feel like I’m not communicating well. So here’s what’s going on in my head. And, you know, I have to make hard decisions. I need to, you know, I have to move through that. So I need to have empathy for myself.

Gregory Avery-Weir 4:29
And hopefully, as you move forward through that kind of understanding what your situation is… you want to make sure that you’re not hurting yourself in your search for doing what’s best. It’s easy to I think, I think The Unit of Caring, talks about in terms of “scrupulosity” like…

Melissa Avery-Weir 4:51
A good term.

Gregory Avery-Weir 4:52
We, of course, we want to be our best selves. But sometimes continuing to be yourself in a healthy way means accepting that you’re not always going to do what you most wish you are able to do.

Melissa Avery-Weir 5:06

Gregory Avery-Weir 5:07
It means, you know, hey, maybe I’m going to be have to be rude to a person, maybe I’m going to have to take a step back from a situation and take care of myself.

Melissa Avery-Weir 5:17
Right. We can’t just like optimize this, like math problems, and always have the perfect solution ready to go.

Gregory Avery-Weir 5:23
Yeah, that doesn’t absolve you of people you’ve harmed or of your responsibilities towards folks. But sometimes you don’t get to meet those. And that’s rough. Yep. And that’s okay. Yep. Like, do your best. Figure out how you’re going to do better moving forward.

Melissa Avery-Weir 5:44
Yeah, starting from a place of empathy and compassion, and actively working toward those not just saying that I’m a compassionate person, you’re moving in the right direction.

Gregory Avery-Weir 5:53
Yep. And make sure you extend that to yourself as well.

Melissa Avery-Weir 5:57
Yep, for sure.

Gregory Avery-Weir 5:59
And I think generally, one thing that that we’ve gotten practice at, and that we’ve encouraged is to come up with at least a hypothetical understanding of someone else.

Melissa Avery-Weir 6:12
…Yeah, loosely held, but yes.

Gregory Avery-Weir 6:14
Yes, don’t, don’t like form a stereotype or have preconceptions about folks, but often in empathy, our problem is, “how could they possibly be feeling this way?” And so if you can just come up with a Oh, here’s one reason why this person might be acting the way they are, might, might have said the thing they did.

Melissa Avery-Weir 6:32

Gregory Avery-Weir 6:33
And recognizing that, oh, there’s there’s a justification that I can understand, maybe not endorse, but understand.

Melissa Avery-Weir 6:40
And it might not be theirs. But it’s, it you can acknowledge the reality that it exists.

Gregory Avery-Weir 6:44
Yeah. And once you’ve got any theory, you can even toss that theory aside and be like, Okay, well, yeah, right. There a person. They’ve probably got a reason for this. Now, what? And I think that that’s really useful in, in recognizing the humanity in a situation where you can often feel it someone’s being unreasonable.

Melissa Avery-Weir 7:08
Right. Yeah.

Gregory Avery-Weir 7:08
Or, or just random?

Melissa Avery-Weir 7:11

Gregory Avery-Weir 7:11
So yeah, hopefully, we’ve given a toolbox of stuff that–and some examples of them in use that will help.

Melissa Avery-Weir 7:11

Gregory Avery-Weir 7:20
And you don’t have to say goodbye to us forever. We’re definitely still working on other projects. And if you still want to hear our lovely voices chatting with each other, we do a monthly podcast for our video game company, Future Proof Games. The show is the Future Proof Podcast.

Gregory Avery-Weir 7:40
And I have a podcast I’m doing called Tabletop Garden where we play role playing games and chat about meta topics and philosophy and how to play games in a healthy way. And Melissa appears on the first campaign in that and when almost definitely appear in some future campaigns do.

Melissa Avery-Weir 8:05
I’ll say the second campaign has some really good discussions around disability and sort of how we frame post-apocalyptic worlds and what that says about us. So I’m only listening but I am enjoying hearing these discussions.

Gregory Avery-Weir 8:22
And you can follow each of us and I’m sure we’ll have exciting new projects on an ongoing basis.

Melissa Avery-Weir 8:30
Or revitalized old projects. So thank you for talking with me today, Gregory.

Gregory Avery-Weir 8:34
And thank you for talking to me, Melissa.

Melissa Avery-Weir 8:36
And thank you all for listening. This has been Audacious Compassion, and Melissa Avery-Weir and I can be found on Mastodon as

Gregory Avery-Weir 8:45
And I’m Gregory Avery-Weir. You can find my website at ( I’m also on mastodon at

Melissa Avery-Weir 9:05
You can find our video game work at Our theme music is “Invisible Light” by Joshua Woodward, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Talk to you later.

Melissa Avery-Weir 9:39
And today we’ll be putting a bow on that great box of… <laughter> I can’t.

Melissa Avery-Weir 9:51
I thought the problem was going to be the other direction…. <laughter> Dammit.

Melissa Avery-Weir 9:52

Melissa Avery-Weir 10:03
And today <laughter>

Melissa Avery-Weir 10:21
I can’t do it.

Melissa Avery-Weir 10:30
Well, fuck.

Melissa Avery-Weir 10:38

Melissa Avery-Weir 10:41
What do I say?

Melissa Avery-Weir 10:52

Melissa Avery-Weir 10:55
And today we’ll be sort of putting a bow on… <laughter>. I can’t. I give up.

Melissa Avery-Weir 11:17
I’ll come up with something else completely. <laughter>

Melissa Avery-Weir 11:40
Dammit, Greg. <laughter> You’re as bad as Lucy.

Melissa Avery-Weir 11:42
Oh, my god. <laughter>

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:00
Even even other things I can think of, I don’t think I could say them at this point.

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:03

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:06
And today we’ll be–

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:11

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:17
And today we’ll be wrapping up, I suppose.

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:23
Shit. I can’t… I looked at you.

Gregory Avery-Weir 12:25
It was a good start.

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:26
It was.

Gregory Avery-Weir 12:26
I wasn’t, I didn’t make any faces.

Melissa Avery-Weir 12:28
It wasn’t your fault. <deep breath>