Interview: “Compassion is essential to our survival”
Is compassion an antidote to our global problems? According to Karen Armstrong, it is our only chance of averting global catastrophe. At the end of November, the British historian of religion will present the annual Compassion Prize in Amsterdam: “I am hoping that there will be some international initiatives,” she says. In early November, Karen Armstrong and her team celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Charter for Compassion in Canada, during the Parliament of World Religions in Toronto. For a decade, they have been attempting to propagate the practice of compassion worldwide. When the 74-year-old former nun won the prestigious TED Prize in 2008, she decided to use the prize money of $100,000 to compose and disseminate the Charter for Compassion, which was written by leading thinkers and activists representing seven of the major world religions. It summoned men and women to make the compassionate ideal central to public and private life.
A Turkey Awakened My Soul
A real-life story from Beverly Warren, written by Frank Lane
Each year I like to write a Thanksgiving story, but this year nothing came forth until I called my dear friend Beverly to wish her happy birthday and she ended up giving me a present! An extraordinary Thanksgiving story! Beverly was visiting a friend on a farm in Tennessee. She was abruptly awakened at daybreak to a flock of Turkeys scuffling outside. Curious, she found her way into the farmyard after bundling up for the cold weather. In the overcast of the morning, she found what all the commotion was about; a female Turkey was in the process of dying. As an animal lover and concern for all that suffer, Beverly inspected the failing bird to see if there was any comfort she could oblige in its apparent demise.
2018 RISE Kite Festival in St. Augustine
Youth Ambassadors Meeting the Dalai Lama
What a wonderful way to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Youth Ambassador program born during the seeds of Compassion conference April, 2008. Meeting his Holiness the Dalai Lama in India at his residence in exile was an honour and privilege I will certainly cherish for the rest of my life. To be able to travel with two of the very first Youth Ambassador students made the experience that much more memorable and powerful. The messages his Holiness shared with us will remain close to our hearts. Habib and Olivia (remarkable Youth Ambassadors who I’ve had the privilege of working with for many years) will indeed continue to be ambassadors of hope, kindness and love.
“Let Freedom Ring” Chimes Project
Today, within our country, there is a great desire to bring individuals and entire communities together to heal old wounds and make firm commitments to cooperatively and collaboratively building a better future. The “Let Freedom Ring Chimes Project” initiative aims to invite all –– residents of our city and county and visitors –– to ponder the possibilities and wander with wonder on the unique peninsula at the confluence of the San Sebastian and Matanzas Rivers. Recently named Dr. Robert B. Hayling Freedom Park, this vast natural green space honors St. Augustine’s nationally acclaimed Civil Rights Movement hero and offers extraordinary opportunities to reflectively and experientially discover new ways to engage with one’s self, others and the 452-year-old African-American story in our nation’s oldest continuously occupied European city.
The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness is currently installed at Modus Locus in South Minneapolis
The Forgiveness Project's photographic-narrative exhibit, The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness is currently installed at Modus Locus in South Minneapolis until April 17, 2018. North American Coordinator for the exhibit, Louisa Hext, is a member of The Charter for Compassions' Global Team. The exhibition is a thought provoking collection of arresting images and personal narratives exploring forgiveness, reconciliation, restorative justice, redemption. The F Word exhibition was created by The Forgiveness Project, an award-winning, secular organization that collects and shares personal stories to explore how concepts of reconciliation, conflict resolution and dialogue can be used to break cycles of violence and restore hope.
Forums held in hope of making Ballarat a compassionate city
A series of forums is the first step to making Ballarat a compassionate city, the next will be putting together a steering group.
The Charter of Compassion launched in the United Nations in 2009, with the Australian Parliament signing and affirming the charter. Global director Marilyn Turkovich said the charter looked to implement programs essential to bringing about change in the world. “The main thrust would be to work with cities at a grassroots level, where people locally would identify problems that made their communities uncomfortable places in which to live,” she said.
2017: Year of Millions Fleeing For Safety; 2018: Corporations Must Step Up
Scrolling through the New York Times “2017 Year in Pictures” you’ll see a common theme across the globe: millions of people across the world were forced to flee. People fled natural disasters like wildfires in California, and flooding from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma or Maria. Then there were horrific scenes of people fleeing man-made atrocities like gun violence, terrorism and ethnic cleansing (genocide). September was a particularly awful month. Rohynga refugees continued to flee their own military in Myanmar, who killed more than 6,700 just because of their religion. According to the United Nations, more than 650,000 escaped and are now stuck in refugee camps in Bangladesh.
The Fuji Declaration Brings More Compassion to the World with The Charter for Compassion International
In May of this year, I had the great fortune of being invited to Japan by the Goi Peace Foundation, the Soul of WoMen, and the Fuji Declaration to participate in the Fuji Declaration Symposium, and the Symphony of Peace Prayers celebration. I was surrounded by extraordinary peace makers in the form of environmentalists, authors, community builders, world renowned thought leaders, and researchers, all deeply spiritual, all deeply grounded in the common vision of a world of balance, peace and harmony. To say the trip was transformational is an understatement.
North Thurston Public Schools Launches Coin Drive to Fund Lacey Food Bank
Lacey City Council, North Thurston Public Schools (NTPS) and the Lacey South Sound Chamber of Commerce have partnered to build a new Lacey Food Bank as their first “Compassionate Community” project. North Thurston Public Schools will be doing their part by launching a “Make a Change” coin drive. The drive will happen in all 22 schools in the district throughout the school year, starting as early as November.