What is Important?

What is important?

© Michael Brown | Dreamstime.com - Man Woman face people problem puzzle

When people speak from outrage and anger, when they talk about arguments and conflicts, listen carefully. They are telling you what is important to them. They are telling you their values.  ~ Hildy Gottlieb

People working closely with the Charter for Compassion as lead volunteers were honored to spend some quality time with Hildy Gottlieb last year.  Each time when one of her teaching lessons comes over my desk I take a reflective pause and listen carefully.  I found today’s e-mail not only thought provoking—but, thought-doing.  Hildy encourages us to listen up: when people talk blame and conflict, they are really talking about values.  As she instructs: “reframe the blame and conflict into values and see beyond the story.

Try this exercise:  When you are caught up in a maze of blame, anger and conflict, ask yourself:

What is important to that person? Ask this several times if necessary until the answer seems right
What is important about that?
Why is that important to her/her?

Listen through the lens of compassion so that you can unlock your next steps.  This approach is part of a process that Hildy calls Catalytic Thinking.  It is worth learning more about the approach.  There is also an opportunity to ask questions of Hildy on her Catalytic Thinking in Action Community on Facebook.  Anyone involved in grassroots compassionate city organizing might find that this is an important method of bringing people together.


April 5, 8 am PT:  Living the Interconnectedness of Mother Earth and her Inhabitants, 8 AM PST with Helen Samuels and Arnold Ricalde (part of the Women and Girls Reaction to Response Series)

Helen has spent 40 years dedicating her efforts to deeply engage young leaders in eco-social movements which has lead to the creation of hundreds of youth-run projects. Through the replication of sustainable practices through local and global networks, these projects spawned many additional community based projects.

Arnold Ricalde is an advisor to the government of Mexico City on matters of large-scale recycling and serves as a Solid Waste Consultant for the City of Mexico and the Nation. He is the Director of Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. and of the Integrative Environmental Systems and Services (ISSA). He is also the 2009 co-author (with Laura Kuri) of Eco-habitat: Experiencias Rumbo a la SustentabilidadLearn more and Register.

April 5, 10 am PT: Building Peace in Difficult Times: Learning from Global Activists

Are you feeling overwhelmed or discouraged by the current political and social climate in the U.S.? Many communities outside of North America have, for years, been involved in building cultures of peace, justice and healing in difficult contexts. We have much to learn from them. Join the United Religions Initiative on April 5 at 10 am PDT for a one-hour webinar entitled "Building Peace in Difficult Times: Learning from Global Activist." You will hear from peacebuilders in Nigeria, Venezuela and Spain about how they remain grounded and build piece in the midst of fierce political divisions, unethical governments. Click here for more details and to register!

April 19, 8 am PT: Acting Out: The Critical State of Mother Earth at 8:00 AM PST with Chief Phil Lane Jr. (part of the Women and Girls Reaction to Response Series)

Chief Phil is a traditionally recognized Hereditary Chief and Elder. He is an enrolled member of the Ihanktonwan Dakota and Chickasaw Nations, and is a citizen of both Canada and the United States.  Learn more and register here.

May 4, 12 pm PT: Robin Youngson in a book Discussion From Hero to Healer (part of the Charter's Global Read Series)

If you are a social or environmental activist, reading this little book might be the best investment you ever make.

Here's the question: Why are we not making more progress on social and environmental issues? Instead, we are witnessing more poverty, more inequality, more chronic disease, more social breakdown, worsening pollution, and a growing climate crisis. Could it be that the strategies we employ as activists are actually sustaining the problems we’re trying to address?

With touching honesty and humility, author Robin Youngson shares the five biggest mistakes he made in a decade of campaigning, and how his counter-intuitive new strategies led to international success.

Get the book for free (PDF, ePub and Kindle versions)' Buy the book for as little as $1.00 and donate 50% of the purchase price to the Charter for Compassion International! Register for the webinar

Commit to Bringing about Change

We want you to sign up or recommit as a member of the Charter for Compassion International. By becoming a member, you are supporting the Charter's core team effort's to provide tools and resources to people who believe that a compassionate world is a peaceful world. This team of staff and volunteers organizes events, puts together resources, develops programming and more to help cities and other communities take the steps to develop and implement action plans to become more compassionate. Our campaign aims to welcome 2,000 new and returning members and garner $70,000 in dues in 2017. Also, this campaign kicks off our relationship with CommitChange—a cloud-based service that allows nonprofits and donors to work together on a single platform. Check out our new donate page.

About Us

  • charter brand transp blue mediumCharter for Compassion provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.


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