The most inspiring thing about being human | Hugh Mackay

Hugh Mackay

TEDxSydney 2020 · 6 November 2020

Because we humans exist in a web of interconnectedness, nature has equipped us with the one quality we most need to make that web shimmer with social harmony. That quality is our capacity for compassion – kindness – not just towards those we happen to like or agree with, but towards everyone, from total strangers to people who could never be our friends. The habit of kindness changes us … and the world.

Hugh Mackay is a social psychologist, researcher and bestselling author of 21 books, including What Makes Us Tick, The Good Life and Australia Reimagined. His latest non-fiction book is Hiding from Ourselves, published concurrently with his eighth novel, The Question of Love.

He has had a 60-year career in social research, and was also a weekly newspaper columnist for over 25 years. Among many honorary appointments, he has been deputy chairman of the Australia Council for the Arts, chairman of trustees of Sydney Grammar School, the inaugural chairman of the ACT government’s Community Inclusion Board and an honorary professor at Macquarie, Wollongong and Charles Sturt universities. He is currently a patron of the Asylum Seekers Centre.

Hugh is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and of the Royal Society of NSW. In recognition of his pioneering work in social research, he has been awarded honorary doctorates by Charles Sturt, Macquarie, NSW, Western Sydney and Wollongong universities. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2015.