Taylor Grace does a weekly roundup of favorite posts, and I was honored to have one of my posts selected this week. Am in such EXCELLENT company – you should definitely head over and see for yourself.
Reading through her always-great weekly links, I came across this new viral village, “#1000 VoicesSpeak.” The intent is to create a viral cyber-village of compassion. The idea is that on February 20, at least 1000 bloggers will write a story about or otherwise promote the practice of compassion – and that we help the project go viral and global. They have way surpassed the 1000 mark of course, because…well…who doesn’t need a little compassion now and again? We all need “a Village.” Read a little more about it here. It’s a little “paying it forward,” if you will, aside from the kind and generous hearts most bloggers I have met have.
We all mess up, we fail, we get sick, we get a divorce, we lose our jobs and even our homes, we get fat, we lose our memory, we come to dead ends, we stumble and fall – and we need someone to love us anyway. Many of us have people in our family (or ourselves) who are or have been homeless, or addicted to drugs or alcohol or spent time in prison. Many have family members who have a mental illness or we have suffered a mental illness ourselves. I have. Others in my family as well. Many of us have children or grandchildren with autism or ADHD or Downs Syndrome. So many things have STIGMA attached to them that make our suffering worse and our judgments about the conditions of others harden our hearts.
How many of us can be like Pope Francis (I LOVE this new pope and I’m not even Catholic!) and wash and kiss the feet of beggars to show them they have worth? Certainly the culture we live in only demonizes and marginalizes poor and homeless people (the 47%) and people with mental illness, disability… It’s a very dog-eat-dog world right now, more than at any other time in my life and quite honestly I am deeply saddened by it.
And now even our old age is being attacked – we should not be getting (so much) social security, our medical bills are too high – we are a drain on society (NOT! – and we paid into SS and MC our entire working life – just so we’d have it now in retirement).
I think those of us who have suffered from stigmatized troubles may be better able to relate to others who struggle – I know the years of my depression have made me a kinder and more forgiving person towards a member of my family with bipolar disorder who others in the family have disowned.
I love joining with other people to create waves of GOOD in the world. Peace, love, compassion, generosity of heart – there will never be too much until we have a “world that works for everyone” (Buckminster Fuller) – and right at the moment there is far too little.
For the past 18 years I have celebrated the Seasons for Peace and Nonviolence with thousands of other people around the world. The link takes you to my personal FB blog for SNV. In the spring of each year, we focus on 64 separate peace practices, one for each day of this particular “season,” with the thought that the more if US do more of THEM (practices), the more PEACE there will be in the world. That’s where all those colorful Facebook Posters I have been posting come in, including the one that Taylor highlighted. (thanks again.). We also have 3 other “seasons” – one for the earth – one for service – for interfaith and intercultural understanding.
Anyway, I’m in. Maybe you will be too?