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.
For the past two decades I have worked at a grassroots community level, mostly in the sphere of the women’s interfaith movement and community development. I am currently the Director of the Charter for Compassion International Women and Girls sector. Over this time, it has become clear that providing spaces and opportunities to be better equipped to affect our community culture through reconciliation and collaboration is not enough. Focusing on our common values of service and compassion is not enough. Being trained or active in political literacy and advocacy is not enough. This is the very problem that has kept me awake at night. However, through the opportunity to convene in the setting that our hosts provided, the solution became quite clear to me. What we need now is a full paradigm shift in recognizing the imbalance of the masculine and feminine dynamics in our day-to-day lives. When we are able to recognize our role in perpetuating certain patterns, we can begin to transform our beliefs, therefore transforming our core characteristic behaviors, ultimately impacting the fabric of society.
I left Japan with a new understanding of who I am. I also left with my marching orders, or perhaps they are more like “soaring” orders. I am proud to say now; I am a “disrupter” of patterns that prevent regenerative and sustainable transformation from the inner to outer world.
The greatest gift I received in Japan, besides the high standard for gracious hospitality, were the relationships forged, which since May have blossomed some exciting collaborations. The Saionji family has so gracefully provided us a nutrient rich opportunity to make new relationships into relatives and collaborators.
This coming September 9-24th, the Fuji Declaration and the World Peace and Prayer Society will be joining the Charter for Compassion International in the Global Unity Compassion Games, Survival of the Kindest. This creative and dynamic expression of compassionate action with a twist on competition impels us all to bring the best out of our opponents turned co-hearts, while improving conditions and advancing solutions for all that we consider sacred. Community service projects, convenings to discuss more compassion in a community, advocacy to address any safety-net issues in a given community, sitting in compassionate meditation are all examples of how people play in the Compassion Games. There is a point system and some creative tension to be “the most compassionate until proven otherwise”, and everyone wins. Love wins! One “Game” we will be adding is the challenge to plant Peace Poles.
An entirely new constellation of hope was birthed in May and only time will tell what more there is to come from such relationships. But we can be sure, the very essence and spirit of the Fuji Declaration rings through every heartbeat of this work.
In these unprecedented times, we are called into unprecedented unified action. It’s time to shore up our relatives and discover new collaborators. It’s time to move from competitor to complimentor. It’s time to show up with each of our talents and treasures, and move gracefully with fierce compassion to a world that works for everyone.
May Peace Prevail On Earth
By: Sande Hart