Saturday, November 30, 2013

Charter for Compassion

Jeremy Rifkin says we are hard wired for compassion. I want to believe him. I think it's one of those things like buying a red sports car. When your new car is a red sports car, suddenly you notice that there are a lot of red sporty cars on the road. 

Do you see in the world what you are looking for? What you are "accustomed" to seeing? Are you more inclined to notice the vibe you are "attuned" to? It's a kind of resonance. Did you know that a guitar "G" string plucked in a room of guitars will cause all the other guitars to play that same G? And if you strum a "D" all the other guitars will resonate to "D."

A drum struck in a room full of drums will vibrate all of the skins on all the drums. And if you put sand on a on a plate over a drum or music, it will arrange itself in organized geometric patterns.

Did you know that if you put a whole room of clocks with pendulums in a room swinging at different rates, when you come back in the morning they will all be swinging simultaneously?

Perhaps we truly are what we resonate with. If you want to change the world, Gandhi said you have to be the world you want.  Be the change. If I take personal responsibility for the world and the way it is, and I do my part to make it better, it becomes better. If you join me in taking the same responsibility for the way the world is, imagine what we could do together. And if you and I recruit more people to our movement, we change the whole world.

We don't have to invent a way to do this; it already exists. Go and sign the Charter for Compassion and join the movement.

If I want a compassionate world, I have to employ compassion-in-action. I have to be more visible and vocal with compassion (or what's even more fun is to do a compassionate act anonymously.) And I have to engage my own compassion more. I am... a work in progress.

Racism can be healed. Violence can be healed. Compassion heals.

Radical Compassion heals radically.

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A few Thoughts...

When I think about it, my own life is no less rich and the living no less inspiring than my pioneering ancestors and I come from a long line of Indians and outlaws so don't ever turn your back on me!

Life is, after all, a slice of human consciousness lived from its place in human evolution. "From here to eternity" as it were-- from earth to the stars, from personal space to cyberspace, from a small local footprint to the world reduced to the size of a notebook and sitting on your lap!

As a child I lived with the perpetual and immenent threat of annihilation. That's child abuse! It wasn't a kid-friendly world and I couldn't understand why the grown-ups who were in charge weren't doing something?

So at age seven with my face in the window eyes turned up into the night sky and staring at the stars I made a vow: "When I am a grown-up, I will do something."

My writing is that something and I write to "simply change the world." If that sounds like a lack of humility it isn't because I know that one person absolutely can change the world and I've met some who have.

Kay Kennedy put together an anthology that puts the reader in the midst of history to view it from the inside out.

When I was in high school and even college, history classes were stale and boring featuring memorization and regurgitation of dates that coincided with events that had no human face, certainly no magic, and no life!

Anthologies are great fun and stores are rich remembrances. History books chronicle; stories are little narrative slices of living. History comes alive through story. I often think of my grandmother and her story, her life-- the history she lived. In her lifetime she saw humankind evolve from horse and buggy to man on the moon.

I was a sixties kid and for the youth of the sixties, turmoil, disillusionment, and revolution were everyday 'business as usual'. Like a radio perpetually on low volume, fear and death dronned on in the background. The superpowers threatened to extinguish all life on the planet, the Vietnam War was escalating and peers were being escorted home under American Flag blankets. The civil rights and equal rights movements were testing human civility, and faster than one could recover from one shock another real life hero would fall to yet another assassin. Despair was commonplace. Contrast that with a man on the moon... we could conquer space travel but couldn't make nukes or war obsolete! It was a time when youth needed hope because hope was scarce. When it was finally resurrected, it came in the form of idealism and a philosophy of brotherly and universal love. Perfect principles; imperfect execution.

For others who contributed to "Looking Back," the history is different for each because the "times" were different as well as the perspective of the individuals. The stories of human societal evolution are enlightening, heartwarming, poignant and spellbinding. They put a human face on the past.

And there are people now who are putting a face on the future...