Monday, November 29, 2010

good deeds ~ charter for compassion!

last week i talked about a more practical form of giving back. this week, however, i'm going to suggest we all take part in something that is far more impacting than just giving an hour of our time.

the organization is charter for compassion, a worldwide community that bridges all religions, political affiliations, ethnicities, and cultures in the powerful commitment to spread compassion to all people, no matter who they are, both publicly and privately.

to take part in this world-changing movement, means being absolutely committed to treating all others with love, respect, and compassion. and by "all others" i do mean no matter what your differences, no matter what the situation, and no matter how these "others" are acting towards you.

it's easy to be compassionate towards the older man who needs help opening a big door, or the mom taking her time at the bank because she has three small children in tow. but what about the office gossiper? or the people who feel passionate about the opposite things you are passionate about {pro-life vs. pro-choice, republicans vs. democrats, no on prop 8 vs. yes on prop 8, to name a few big ones}?

now let me be clear, i am NOT suggesting that we give up on setting boundaries, standing up to social injustice, or protecting ourselves from being push-overs. taking advantage of the system, living with prejudice, or cheating through life at the expense of others is wrong. but what i am suggesting is that we all take a radical new approach to dealing with every single person we come into contact with, to choose to react with respect even if we think the other person doesn't deserve it, to be empathetic and understanding about where that person may be coming from.

it is my personal belief that every single one of us human beings makes mistakes and also deserves to be treated with love. believe me, i know how hard it is be patient and empathetic with those who act like jerks or who i feel are completely mislead in their beliefs. but if i've learned anything as a therapist, it's that people only act badly or stubbornly because they have deep wounds themselves. the only way to encourage unhappy people to behave lovingly, is to present them with unconditional love.

so what i propose is, next time you are faced with someone who makes you feel outraged, frustrated, annoyed, or infuriated, take it not as a sign that someone has done you wrong, but a sign that someone is in desperate need of your compassion. accept the fact that there really isn't a whole lot of difference between that person and you on a bad day. because really, on your worst days, what would make things better - a stranger who's frowning, fuming and rolling their eyes at you, or a stranger who offers a smile, a kind word, and a helpful hand?

now this is hard stuff to commit to, but the world is only going to get better with the hard work of each one of us. be the change in the world, be the change in humanity, and help spread compassion to every one!

you can read the beautiful charter here and join me in adding your name to commit to the revolutionary act of offering compassion throughout your daily life here.


  1. this is awesome!!
    imagine a world where everyone spoke and acted out of compassion! all of our societal and political differences could be reconciled. you make the profound point- that we need to be most compassionate to those who make it harder for us to do so. loving those filled with love is easy... but loving those who are not opened up to that consciousness isn't and those are the ones who need love and compassion most!

    i love all these good deeds, kim!
    i'm so glad we get to be friends!

  2. True that. Thanks for sharing Kim.

  3. You always start my weeks off right with these beautiful posts. I signed the charter right when it first came out and I think it's very important to be compassionate with all people. It's one of the true paths to change.

  4. What an important message to get out Kim!

  5. You have such a big heart! The problems of the world need to be solved one step at a time and this is such a wonderful place to start.

  6. this is such a beautiful post. i am so glad you shared it, i will be heading to make my compassion commitment now :)

  7. I LOVE this Kim! Really. I'll admit that I have a horrible temper, and as soon as someone does me wrong I get really, really upset. I always try to remind myself, though, to take a deep breath, not let these things effect my inner moods, and to always show compassion, because you really don't know what someone else is going through. Especially with all the crazy hate in the world right now, it's important to all just be nice to each other. Thanks for this!

    (And I switched my screen name over again and had to re-follow my favorite blogs. Don't think I'm crazy for just un-following and re-following you so many times, haha! I finally have it figured out!)

  8. I love this charter. I love this series, too. I agree, it can be hard to extend compassion to those we feel are off the deep in politically or really annoying. I know that I need to come back to this and be less stubborn when dealing with things.

  9. ohmylord. it feels like you are directing this post to ME and with good reason. i have a temper, and, truth be told, sometimes i like getting a little mad (particularly if it will provide a good blog post - lol). but i will try harder to reign it in and be more tolerant and compassionate. i will TRY.