Engaging Compassion


The one thing that I did for myself and for others actually happened yesterday, but its effects did not end at the stroke of midnight and are sure to guide me in helping myself and others for many, many more days to come.  So, this is a combined post of sorts, a literary two-for-the-price-of one, so to speak.

Several months ago, my friend, Schanee, graciously invited me to go with her to hear the Dalai Lama’s talk entitled, “Engaging Compassion”, here in Louisville, Kentucky, which has launched an effort to be a “compassionate city”.  Other than reading bits of his work here and there over the years and seeing him on television occasionally, I honestly was not very familiar with the Dalai Lama’s work, but after listening to him speak yesterday in front of 15,000 people, I was left wanting to know and learn more about him and his teachings.  Even more than that, I walked out of the event back into the world with the desire to do more for myself and others.

One of the first things he said was that change and compassion begin with each individual, who is like a pebble that causes ripples of in the water.  He spoke about how compassion is shown through action, which has led me to ponder how to be more compassionate with myself and with others.  As I continue to think about this topic, on both small and large scales, I have referenced the “Checklist for Compassion” that was compiled by Mayor Greg Fischer’s office.  This “checklist” ideas for ways to show compassion that were suggested by local school teachers and students, and I have included some of them here:

  • “Cherishing the Environment”
    *Plant a tree
    *Help out with gardening projects and weeding
    *Learn about environmental stewardship and how to promote vital knowledge
  • “Helping out in the World of Art”
    *Teach a child to play a musical instrument
    *Develop arts and crafts projects at community centers
    *Volunteer as a photography instructor, mural artist, kiln/pottery wheel operator, etc. at a Boys & Girls Club
  • “Caring for Our Animals”
    *Help pets at a shelter
    *Pick up and transport wildlife.
    *Write helpful grants for fundraising for centers/organizations that work on behalf of animals
  • “Helping out with Languages/Translating”
    *Volunteer as a citizenship or English tutor for refugees
    *Volunteer to assist patients with translation services at community health clinics
    *Translate training materials into a variety of languages for community agencies
  • “Welcoming our Refugees, Homeless, and Ones in NEED through the work of Faith and Other Groups”
    *Become a foster parent or help with outreach
    *Volunteer at a homeless shelter
    *Join a disaster relief team that is willing to assist communities in need.
  • “Cherishing Our Elders”
    *Assist in an Adult Day Center
    *Volunteer to deliver meals to the elderly
    *Volunteer with a pet therapy program
  • “Giving Our Children a Hand”
    *Read to children
    *Become a child advocate
    *Help children with homework in an after school program
  • “Addressing Hunger and Serving Food”
    *Assist in a food bank
    *Volunteer to serve a meal in a homeless shelter
    *Volunteer in a garden or outdoor classroom
  • “Taking responsibility for those of Us in Difficulty or with Disabilities”
    *Volunteer with an adult day program working with people with disabilities
    *Volunteer with a childhood development program for children with disabilities
    *Volunteer as a tutor with an adult literacy program

It is my hope that we all will join this mission of compassion by taking action in our individual lives and in our communities to engage in compassion and kindness everywhere we go and with everyone we meet.

Just one thing each day . . .

Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

Tags: , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. Oh my! What a wonderful, inspiring experience! I know a little about him, and would love to see him in person! It’s a sometimes sad, but also very inspiring concept to think something as simple as being kind has the potential to change so much!

  2. This is inspirational post. Thank you for the reminder that there is always more that we can do.

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