On June 3rd, 2009, David Breaux began asking people to share their written concept of the word compassion in a notebook. It evolved into a personal endeavor to bring awareness to compassion. Since then, he has asked over 18,000 people and received over 9,500 responses, becoming a respected figure in the community of Davis, California. This endeavor enables David to lead discussions on compassion and provide spiritual healing to hundreds of people as a “street therapist” at the corner of 3rd and C downtown where he stands. He also distributes “Compassion is…” bumper stickers and the endeavor has also provided him with the opportunity to self-publish a portion of the responses in a compilation book entitled Compassion: Davis, CA. He continues to bring awareness to compassion every day by his presence throughout the community.
The simple act of David asking people about compassion has impacted individuals everywhere—from the yoga teacher using entries from the compilation book before and after class, to the local pastor reading entries before his weekly meeting; from the 4th grade teacher using compassion as the focus of a day’s lesson plan, to the number of individuals who contemplate compassion and act compassionately because of David’s presence at the corner. The stories run into the thousands from people whose lives are now changed because of being asked to write their concept of compassion in a notebook.
David envisions asking about compassion for as long as he can. His vision is to see himself and others asking about compassion in communities worldwide, creating a network of Compassion Ambassadors who continue to inspire people to think about compassion. Each community will create its own monument to compassion based on its own needs and community outlook. A compilation book will also be published from a portion of the anonymous entries shared, creating a series of books dedicated to people’s ideas on compassion. David has already facilitated numerous talks with book groups, local charities, and faith-based groups and will continue to do so as the project grows. Imagine the breadth and depth of compassion’s influence on the way in which people think about themselves, others, and the world around them as David continues his lifelong endeavor.
Location: Davis, California, USA