For this link-up we really needed to do a joint post from members of the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion admin team. Not everyone could join us, but of those of us who could, here are our reflections on the past year. Happy Anniversary everyone!
It’s hard to believe that our first post link-up for 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion was a year ago already! I have to say that being part of this effort and this group of people has been truly a remarkable experience. Most of the time, #1000Speak is something that kind of goes on in the background of my life, churning away without calling attention to itself. And yet, I find that I have never been more aware of compassion and its benefits in the moments of my days. I find myself attracted to and reading different and better types of blog posts, articles, and books. I pay attention to how I treat myself and others, considering whether words and actions are truly compassionate in nature. Compassion seeps into my conversations with my husband and my daughter, with family and friends, and with my self. Do I always act with compassion? I’m certain not. But the desire, the awareness, and the effort are always there. I have been blessed and fortunate to have met and collaborated with interesting and incredible people from all walks of life all over the world. Our desire to create a more compassionate world unites us, defines us, and brings us all to a better understanding of what it means to think and act and love compassionately. This experience has been life-changing in just the short year since we started. It is my sincere hope that it will continue to be so for me, for you, and for all of us.
Geoff Le Pard
The cliché has it that ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. With compassion, over the last year I have found ‘Compassion shared is compassion exponentially increased’. The beauty of the 1000 Voices is that it exposes how one’s own limited definitions, narrow knowledge base and one dimensional experiences merely scratch the surface on what compassion means and how it can impact people’s lives. For me, I’d given no thought to self-compassion; I’d looked on forgiveness of others as having a higher importance than forgiving oneself. I’ve learnt there is no hierarchy to compassion – it is ubiquitous and universal. It is a joy to share and a joy to indulge in one’s own quiet spaces. It can be found in the beautiful and the brutal. It can state the obvious while it reveals deeply hidden truths. And underpinning it all the application of compassion makes us more human.
The best part of being a part of #1000Speak is my close interaction with so many beautiful people! I love that I am a part of this group and close friends now with Yvonne, Lizzi, Lisa, Erin, Leah, Jen, Erin, Geoff, and so many more! I love that we all put up such thoughtful posts and loving updates, compared to the vast majority of abrasive, caps-lock-on posts that seep into our timelines! We need more compassion, consideration, and humanity in this world, and I’m proud to be a part of a movement that strives for that!
Whilst my personal life has changed dramatically in the last year, I don’t think the world at large has changed too much. The headlines are different, but there still exists the same proliferation of heartbreak, tragedy, corruption, and hurt. The stories of positivity, human-as-champion, and triumph-for-all are still shining stars against a backdrop of darkness, are still grasped for with hopeful fingers and nostalgia for the days when the world was perfect; before our visions of its goodness were broken and we realised we’d never hold their glitter in our palms.
That said, what HAS changed, for me, has been perspective.
As I’ve immersed myself (time and life allowing) in the efforts to encourage compassion, connection, and togetherness, I’ve made time to open my eyes to more of the good in the world. I’ve noticed where people try, in their ways, to do good and be the positive difference needed in their particular situation. I’ve paid attention to the organisations and causes which seek to right wrongs, execute justice, and show mercy. I’ve SEEN the light.
So I’m convinced. The good which IS still out there, is teaching me to wish on stars again, to believe that most people are mostly good, that we CAN change the world for the better, and that together, we can shine with indescribable brightness.
Thank you, to everyone who has been involved, supported, encouraged, shared, and participated in 1000Speak. Let’s keep bringing the light.
I’ve been awed to the point of tears by what the others have written here about their year of Compassion, and I’m finding it almost impossible to put into words the impact 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion has had for me.
To say it’s changed my life is both true and not true. It’s not true because when I invited others to join me in writing about compassion, I already knew its power. For several years, I had been practising techniques that develop compassion, including self-compassion, and had seen the effects this had on relationships and life in general. So in some ways 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion has been an extension of what I already did.
I’ve just realised, reading some of the posts on the link-up, what has changed for me. And, in a way, it’s ironic. I invited people to join me in writing about compassion, because I often read posts in which bloggers felt alone in caring for others (or if not alone, out-numbered by those who didn’t.) I could see that many, many people did care, and getting them together would let them see this. That has happened. I’ve read post after post, comment after comment, in which people say they love being part of our community because of the stories of kindness, love and hope they see, because of the support they feel, because we have more power as a group than we did as individuals.
So why is this ironic? Because it’s what I get most out of being one of a thousand voices speaking for compassion too. I feel supported by our group, by the others in the admin group, by the members. As I wrote in my post for this month’s link-up: when we give compassion to another, we give it to ourselves. And maybe when I started this group so others would feel less alone, I gave that gift to myself too.
When this started a short year ago, I was in a negative space in my heart. I’m an optimistic person with a heavy side of skeptic and the cynic was winning. I wanted to be a part of something that had the potential to be much bigger than me and what I could see in front of me. I wanted to prove to myself that there were still people who gave a damn. I hoped we’d reach a couple hundred people. Then everything exploded and people came out of the woodwork to be involved. All of these wonderful people around the world wanted to be a part of something special too. Each month there’s been a new call to arms, people arming themselves with love and light. Spreading the joy all over the internet. I couldn’t be more proud to have been here for it.
Compassion has always been a huge part of my life. Like most, I have encountered, and still do, circumstances that call for it.
Last year brought to light many instances where compassion was, and still is necessary. The war on terrorism and resulting famine make this all too clear.
That said, 1000 voices has shown that compassion is evident. There are people who are willing to reach out to others in big and small ways. That kindness lies in each of us, and we need to call it forth.
This year of compassion shows that it needs to grow, but it also shows that it is there.
I’ve always been fond of saying, “Compassion begins at home.” The truth is that isn’t always the case. Some of us have been fortunate to have experienced lessons in compassion from those closest to us. Some of us are making a choice each and every day to instil compassion in our children and those whose lives we touch. Some of us have found compassion where we least expected it. This past year, #1000speak has taught me that compassion begins wherever the seed is planted and when watered and nurtured compassion can flourish and stretch its limbs to the furthest reaches of the world. Its love, light and color can brighten the darkest corners of the earth, join compassionate strangers across the internet, and spark hope in every heart it touches. This movement just keeps getting stronger and I am honored to have been a part of it. Thank you to all who have opened their hearts and made a choice to flood the internet and ultimately our world with compassion.
Now it’s over to you!
How has the year of compassion been for you? Let us know in the comments. Or even better, write a post and add it to the link-up, by clicking the blue button below.