For those of you who follow the Charter for Compassion and read our newsletters every week, you know that our topics vary greatly. As you may also know, we have just started our 40 Days of Peace program commemorating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Each day, until February 28, we are adding events to our calendar to inform, reflect on and challenge each other to take steps to work for peace. Needless to say, we are underpinning the 40 Days with Feast of the Soul, a worldwide spiritual practice intensive, one that aims to co-create more love and peace within.
Every week, as I think about what I want to write in this space, I'm overwhelmed both by the possibilities of issues that the Charter for Compassion should address and then a little concerned because by selecting one topic, I've neglected dozens of others. In Dr. Martin Luther King's last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community, which wasn't published until 10 years after his death, King spoke to his dreams of an America which would explore remedies that would lead to better jobs, just wages, more than adequate health care, homes for all and equal access to quality education. King did not intend for his message to be just for the United States, but it was steeped in hope for a global direction—demanding an end to international suffering and holding the expectation that common humanity would enable us to obtain and live the rights expressed in the 1948 United Nations Declaration for Human Rights. Theologian Cornel West notes, in Where Do We Go From Here, King puts forth his "last grand expression of his vision—he put forward his most prophetic challenge to powers that be and his most progress[ive)]program for the wretched of the earth."
Dr. Martin Luther King was a powerhouse for his time, and way beyond it. He is one of the greatest intellectuals in American history—a man of substance and action. He understood how to bridge the depravities of poverty to the wealth of nations and the struggle for freedom to the core of creating a "beloved community."
In Where Do We Go From Here, King addressed the Triple Evils of POVERTY, RACISM, and MILITARISM as forms of violence that exist in a vicious cycle. They are interrelated, all-inclusive, and stand as barriers to our living in the Beloved Community. When we work to remedy one evil, we affect all evils. King reminds us to work against the Triple Evils, you must develop a nonviolent frame of mind as described in the "Six Principles of Nonviolence." These steps form a plan for social action and change. In essence, they are radical steps, getting to the core roots of those issues that I consider each week.
Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change:
- Information Gathering. In order to understand and articulate an issue, problem, or injustice facing a person, community, or institution, you must do research.
- Personal Commitment
- Direct Action
The Charter for Compassion is committed to following each of these steps, but this year, we will be concentrating primarily on education. One of the programs we will be introducing to our "Beloved Community" is SEE Learning, the legacy program of the Dalai Lama, which combines the science of compassion with the cultivation of awareness. SEE Learning offers new tools for engaging in a new future. Please, engage with us in working towards a Beloved Community. Make a personal commitment, work with others to negotiate a new path, and reconcile as you move forward with those with whom you find it difficult to work. Along the way, gather information, debate it, and share it. This is direct action and speaks directly to King's steps for nonviolent social change.
With warm regards,
SEE Learning: Promoting Teacher Wellness through The Science of Compassion. Program one in a three-part series. Parts two and three will be offered in March and April. Dates and times will be offered in next week's newsletter.
Monday - Feb 13th - 8:30-9:30 am EST (Europe/Africa/Asia)
Tuesday - Feb 14th - 4:30-5:30 pm EST (North and South America
The Science of Compassion outlines key strategies that can be applied to the field of education to promote teacher (and for those others who may be interested) wellness. Through this presentation, participants will be exposed to the research and scientific basis for compassion-based practices that promote resilience, awareness, self-compassion, and compassion for others. In developing these competencies, participants will gain insight into the habits of the mind that lead to well-being and personal flourishing. These strategies will be presented through applied practices that can be integrated into both the classroom and one's personal life. Register here!