Compassion. Sometimes it seems our world has in short supply. There have been some shockingly violent occurences in the world lately. The murder of school children in Pakistan in December and of journalists in Paris last week, the massacre of 2000 people in Nigeria this month.
Reading a newspaper report of the last of those deeply affected me. This paragraph keeps coming into my mind:
District head Baba Abba Hassan said most victims are children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents.
Those people can’t be saved now, but perhaps we can help prevent others facing the same. Perhaps we can help everyone (including ourselves) grow in compassion. If you are interested in joining a very exciting blogging movement, read on…
I posted a link to this article on Facebook at the weekend, and my friend Lizzi of Considerings saw it. We had a conversation about what might lead people to do such horrendous things. I wrote that it might include:
“Fear of others, dehumanising opponents (seeing them as less than human and so it’s not murder.) We dehumanise too, if we refer to terrorists as vermin etc. Phillip Zimbardo is worth reading on this. He’s most famous for the Standford Prison Experiment, and has also written about the abuse of Iraqi prisoners.”
Lizzi replied that she’d just written a post trying to inspire a counter to this kind of thing. That post is We ALL Need a Village. While I was reading it, it occurred to me that so many of us are writing about compassion, without always knowing that others are out there doing the same. What would it be like, I wondered, if we could get a thousand of us together and all write about compassion on the same day?
So I posted a tentative call in a Facebook group I’m in:
How cool would it be if we could get 1000 bloggers on the same day to write posts about compassion, kindness, support, caring for others, non-judgement etc.?
We could call it 1000 Voices For Compassion.
I’ve been astounded at the response. Within 48 hours we are almost half way, with well over 400 bloggers or video-makers on board!
What makes this so different to anything that’s come before is that we are ordinary bloggers from all over the world, from Australia, Singapore, India, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US (including Hawaii!) We’re not sages, we’re just like you. Some of us have large followings, some of us have tiny, but together we can all make a difference. Will you join us?
If you are a blogger, or if you make videos for to upload to the internet, then please do join us! We welcome you.
If you are on Facebook, send a request to join our group. You’ll find it with this link.
If you aren’t on Facebook, just drop me a comment saying you want to join in and let me know if you’d like to added to a mailing list, and you’ll be kept up to date with any new developments and with instructions for how to link up on the day.
If you are on Twitter, check out the hashtag: #1000Speak
Not sure what you’d write about? What does compassion mean to you? Is there enough of it in the world, or would you like to see more? How do we feel compassion, and how do we lose it? You can tell the world about a time you felt compassion for someone else, or you can tell about a time someone was compassionate to you. Really, as long as your post is about compassion, you can write or make a video (or both) in any way you choose.
Join 1000 Voices to Speak For Compassion
Update: Our first event for 1000 Voices For Compassion took place on 20th February. We now have well over the original 1000 Voices, and our group continues to grow, with many people eager to write about compassion on a regular basis. In response to that we are planning to hold another link-up on the 20th of March. Longer-term plans still need to be worked out, but it’s looking likely we will do something quarterly.