#1000Speak June – A Home Remedy for the World

I’ve been thinking so much about the various news stories splayed across the headlines lately.

It seems no matter where you are across the globe, there is a story about something negative. Gorillas, alligators, mass shootings, politics, health care, animal cruelty, unemployment, gun control… I could go on, but I won’t. You know what the headlines and the horrors are in the world. You know that behind every headline is so much more of the story than we will ever know from reading the news. Maybe those stories are somehow better than what is presented; maybe they are worse. But at the end of the day, no matter the story, the overarching problem I see is that the world is sick.

news-426893_1920

I have a vague memory of a cartoon drawing of the earth with a cold – or something – and that’s what comes to mind lately. Our world is sick and it needs some kind of remedy. But what? I see quotes and memes go by on my computer screen all the time suggesting what might help: The world needs love. The world needs faith. The world needs compassion.

It’s all true.

But how do we begin to heal a world that on some days seems so far gone?

As I prepared to write this post over the last few weeks, this question goaded me and made me forget every idea I thought I had to share here. I couldn’t help coming back to this nagging question of what must we DO in order to help our world, help one another?

We need to get back to basics. We need to start with the closest, simplest task and that is to heal our Selves.

My #1000Speak posts tend to focus on self-compassion and I suppose my words here will be no different. If we want to see change on a global level, we have to start on a personal level. As I thought more and more about this, I suddenly remembered some words I encounter very often at a place I visit regularly, but rarely take time to see. The words I’ll share with you here are from Robert Rodale and his wife, Ardath Harter Rodale, two people who dedicated their lives to improving not only their own lives, but the lives of others in various ways. Consider how their words might be applied on a very intimate, individual, and personal level, but also consider how they might be applied on a much larger scale.

earth-1389719_1920

 

 

“Health is the ability to find superior powers of body and mind and to use them for full, fruitful, and enjoyable living.”

“Every living thing has an inner urge to get better. To renew. To use the power of life to heal from within.”

~Robert Rodale

 

“May your eyes be filled with the light of sunshine to invigorate every part of your body, mind, and spirit.”

“May health and love flow through your veins to bring you peace and harmony.”

~Ardath Harter Rodale

 

I know, I know. Given the magnitude and frequency of negativity in the headlines lately, how can we think that such simple and wholesome ideas would make a difference?  How is it possible to believe there is such light and hope and power in the world when there is so much evidence to the contrary? Maybe if we can take even just a little bit of that positive thinking, that conviction that all living things have the potential for good, for change, and for health, we might see the world – and the people in it – in a different light. Maybe we can be gentler with ourselves, kinder and more compassionate to one another, more understanding and accepting of ourselves and of one another.

What we need is a good old fashioned home remedy like Grandma’s chicken soup or hot tea with lemon. There may not be much proof of whether or not it will work, but it can’t hurt to hope and it can’t hurt to try. Try compassion. Try kindness. Try love. See if it helps. See if it makes you feel better. It certainly can’t make things any worse.

 

human-567563_1920

 

This month, 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion continues to work toward a better, more compassionate world.

Here’s how to get involved:

Join 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion on Facebook

Visit the 1000Speak blog

Follow @1000Speak on Twitter

Use the #1000Speak hashtag across social media.

This month’s link up is open and ready for your posts and will remain open until June 28th.  To join in the Link-up and read more posts, click the blue button below and follow the instructions.

Compassion Logo FINISHED

Advertisements

On being Kind and Compassionate #1000Speak

What is compassion?

Compassion is nothing but being present to the suffering of others and responding with a desire to relieve them of this pain and suffering with kindness, care, love and support. The key to compassion is the art of mindfulness and the lesson of letting go. We need to learn to let go of our egos. We need to move beyond judgement and indifference. We need to learn to share space with complete strangers because this place is equally theirs. We need to feel the pain from the heart. Suffering does not necessarily have to be physical. It can be someone going through a stressful time in their personal or professional lives. Often we neglect the urge to provide a listening ear or offer a few comforting words because we believe that we are intruding into their lives. But many a times, it is those few words, those few minutes that can help save someone from making a wrong decision (perhaps the last decision) in their lives. Be helpful anyway. Be compassionate any way. Be kind any way. Together we can make this a better place. A peaceful place. A happy place.

I will now share my experience with two people who I believe defined compassion for me.

The Mother

She stays in a building next to mine. The first person to have spoken to me when I moved in here. She came up to me and offered to help if I ever needed. The next time I saw her, she was surrounded by half a dozen street dogs barking non-stop. I was scared for her and wanted to protect her. I picked up some stones and was about to throw them at the dogs when I saw her bending down and pouring milk into an earthen bowl and a few bread slices into another. The dogs had stopped barking and were wagging their tails. And she wore the most beautiful smile I have ever seen on anyone.

A few days later, one of the street dogs that resided in our locality got infected. It started bleeding from different places and shedding its skin showing the pink tissue underneath. Everyone (including myself) felt pity. But none of us did anything to help it from suffering. Some for fear of getting infected and some others out of disgust. We had accepted that this was the end of it. He wouldn’t survive. We nodded to ourselves.

And then I saw her sitting next to the dog and applying some medicines. She fed him like a new-born baby. As it managed to take a few bites, she kept massaging his back and forehead. He looked at her with eyes shining as if to thank her for her kindness. A few weeks and the dog was fully cured and up and running. That day, I saw her. I found the reflection of the mother.

unwanted-unloved-uncared

The Impact of a Teacher

At a school function, I met this man. He is a doctor by profession. But he has quit practice and is planting trees every single day, every single hour. Why? Because some forty odd years ago (when he was nine), his teacher had told him that the world will end in 2070 because of lack of oxygen and global warming. When he asked her how can this be prevented, the good soul that the teacher was she told him that planting more and more trees alone can help save the earth. And ever since he has planted more than one million trees.

Why did he have to take it up so seriously? He could have chosen to listen and let go like most of us. He was well aware that he might not survive to see the end of the world in 2070. But he was aware that every drop matters. Every tree meant saving the world for a few more days. I haven’t seen another human as compassionate towards trees like him. If he ever sees a tree being uprooted or being cut down for infrastructural reasons, he silently weeps within. His revenge: planting more and more trees.

The Reason

What is it? Why are they doing all this? Why do they have to do all of this? The answer is nothing but kindness and compassion. While fools like us sit and preach, people like them lead by example. They are aware that their deeds might not do anything for themselves. But they do it anyway because it helps someone else. Contentment and fulfillment are their prizes.

We all have seeds of compassion inside us. It is a natural instinct present within all of us. It is restrained when we lack mindfulness and turn a blind eye to life. It’s just a matter of realizing it and letting it flow freely.

Compassion does not restrict to relieving others of pain. It also means being kind towards ourselves. A smile or a kind word can make a big difference in someone’s life. The mere feeling that we are not alone in this struggle makes people get back up, be strong and have a reason to flourish. A heartfelt act of kindness goes a long way in the other person’s life.

quote-we-shall-never-know-all-the-good-that-a-simple-smile-can-do-mother-teresa-183500

So, did you smile today?

 

Rekha

Rekha Dhyani is the mom of two T-Rex kiddoos, seasoned publishing expert, hardcore marketer, freelance content writer, amateur photographer, travel enthusiast and a passionate writer/blogger. She blogs at Dew Drops.

Please do follow her at these social media links: Facebook   Twitter   Instagram

Our Year of 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

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!

Lisa Listwa

Author%20Image%203%20Lisa%20A.%20Listwa[1]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

IMG_3554The 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.

Roshni AaMom

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 22.09.14The 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!

Lizzi Lewis

LizziWhilst 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.

Yvonne Spence

DSCN2592 - Version 3I’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.

Tamara Woods

Author PhotoWhen 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.

Michelle Liew

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.

Leah Vidal

Profile PicI’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.

Meet the #1000Speak Admins: Geoff Le Pard

Next up in our Meet the #1000Speak Admins series is Geoff Le Pard. 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion is  worldwide and so is our admin team – meaning most of us have never met in person. Geoff is one of the two admins I have actually met. I’m pleased to say he’s just as nice in person as he is on the web!

 

05 BOX-005Geoff is a fifty something twenty year old living in South London with his wife, whichever of his children happen to need a roof that day and a variety of pets. Once a lawyer churning out words by the yard, he now spends his time, partly writing as carefully as he can for himself and whoever else might enjoy his fiction and partly helping at a local youth club in a run down part of his beautiful city.He found blogging last year and has fallen into it with a will at geofflepard.com, preferring to blog about whatever comes to mind than limit himself.You can probably guess that this photo would represent the “twenty year old” aspect of Geoff!

And since I have met Geoff, I can definitely tell you that the photo at the end of this post is a better representation of him nowadays!

 

As with the other admins, I asked Geoff two questions about 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion.

Why did you join?

Serendipity.  Starting as a youngster watching mum nurture the most fabulous garden out of a piece of clay based wilderness in the New Forest I’ve leant about the need for empathy. Mum empathised with her plants, the need for the right soil type, the right amount of shade and  water and nutriments. It was but a small step to putting oneself in the shoes of others, to realise what they needed. It was a bigger step to start to realise how I might do something tangible to help them achieve those needs. That is where my career had taken me. When Yvonne told me of the plan – I had been following her since I found her on the internet talking sense about the Scottish referendum when no one else was – it was essential I joined in. I was meant to be part of this.

What does it mean for you? 

It was apparent from the start that there is a momentum shift here. If you aggregate the human voice you can break glass, lift roofs, make hearts shake with emotion. Put 1000 voices together and coalesce around an idea and you might well start that flap of another butterfly’s wing. I want to be part of that. Recently I have signed on line petitions; before that I took part in protests, marched for this or against that; I’ve been known to write letters to newspapers, lobbied my MP. This group is a natural progression; it is what you do today. The net has its detractors but Berners-Lee gave it to us all as a force for good. We mustn’t allow those who might corrupt it stop us from letting it fulfil its designer’s purpose. 1000speak is a part of that purpose.

Meet the #1000Speak Admins: Geoff Le Pard
Tweet this.

Geoff is a prolific writer, and I think Berners-Lee would agree he is using the internet as a force for good! Below is an extract from his latest post, which also happens to be his latest for  1000 Voices Speak For Compassion! Be sure to read the rest of it.

Five Photos Five Stories – day five #1000speak

Last year I saw something that, were I to really need it, would have convinced me that, come what may, we live in a compassionate world with the future of this land of ours in safe hands. Read more…

IMG_3554

 

Meet the #1000Speak Admins: Leah Vidal

We continue our Meet the Admin posts with Leah Vidal. Along with Jen Leeman, Leah set up this blog. Jen opened it up and Leah wrote the first post, 
Leah Vidal is the author of Red Circle Days and writer at Little Miss Wordy as well asnj blogger network headshots-32 a contributor of the recent anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True
Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In her writing Leah explores BIG lessons from life’s little moments…those that plant the thought provoking seed of self discovery.
Leah is a 2014 BlogHer Voice Of The Year, a Huffington Post contributor and
a regular contributor at What The Flicka? Her writing has been syndicated on BlogHer, featured on Erma Bombeck, Freshly Pressed and featured on Scary Mommy. She has been featured on PubSlush Women Of Wednesday and is currently working on her second book.
Leah paused her career in Public Relations to raise her two children and has never looked back, except on the days when it would be nice to have an office to escape to or at least a desk to hide under. Her family recently moved to PA, where she is a fitness focused (physical, spiritual and mental health), mom of two and wife of one, who spends her time avoiding the kitchen, and making words come to life.
I asked Leah a couple of questions.
Why did you join 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion?

When I started blogging, I was blown away by the fact that my words could make a difference in someone’s day. As they travelled across the world, they paused to briefly touch each reader along their journey. The message, story, and sometimes random thought that appeared on my screen as my fingers flew across the keyboard, eventually made its way onto someone else’s screen and touched their heart in some way. Lizzi and Yvonne’s initiative to flood the internet with compassion, sparked by Lizzi’s post, “It Takes A Village” touched me in that way. I knew I had no choice. This was something that moved me and I believed would move many more.

What does it mean to you?
I don’t really know how to write if it isn’t from my heart, each of my posts stirring emotion in others as well as myself. While every month hundreds of writers come together to blanket the internet with compassion I believe our posts are doing much more than that. I have witnessed the effect of this warm blanket not only covering the internet, but wrapping all those it touches in safety, love, understanding and most of all compassion for themselves and others. That is all heart and something many of us have longed to be a part of for some time. There is so much good in this world and #1000speak reminds me of this each and every month.
*        *        *
Don’t Leah’s beautiful words fill you with hope? I love the image of a blanket of compassion wrapping around the internet and all who use it! You can read more of Leah’s lovely words in her post for last month’s theme of Connection.

The Red String Of Fate

“It is part of scientist Matthew Lieberman’s case that our need to connect is as fundamental as our need for food and water.” Lieberman who is a Professor and SCN (Social Cognitive Neuroscience) Lab Director at UCLA Department of Psychology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences conducts research on social cognitive neuroscience which focuses on how the human brain carries out social information processing. His research has led him to a connection between physical pain and social pain. Next time someone tells you their heart is broken or their feelings are hurt, stop and think about that for a minute… Read more

Meet the #1000Speak Admins: Marcia Shaw Wyatt

Welcome to the third of our Meet the Admin posts! This time it’s Marcia Shaw Wyatt in the hot seat. Those of you who are members of our Google+ Community will know that Marcia runs it. We didn’t even have to twist her arm – she volunteered to set it up!

Marcia is an enthusiastic and valuable member of our admin team. (You guessed that, didn’t you?)

me2Marcia is a western New Yorker. When she’s not spreading compassion on the internet she  manages to find time to work a full-time afternoon shift job outside her home. She is married, mama to a cute little dog named Romeo, loves spending time with her family and friends, and in her spare time she writes and blogs on Blogitudes about life, love, humor, compassion, attitude and gratitude – none of which she claims to be an authority on … but all of which she loves writing about anyway.

I asked Marcia a couple of questions about 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion. You’ll enjoy her answers!

Why did you join?

I joined 1000Speak because compassion is something I’ve always greatly valued. I know how much it means – how much it’s helped when others have shown it to me, and in return, I try daily to keep compassion close in mind and show kindness in my dealings with others. When Lizzi wrote her post regarding The Village and Yvonne responded with a question of who might be interested in forming a group devoted to sharing and encouraging this great cause, I knew it was something that I definitely wanted to be part of … and I’ve been a happy participant ever since.

The members of 1000Speak are nothing short of amazing. Their love and depth of compassion vividly show in all they write and share – in their interactions and in all the ways they strive to continually support and encourage others.

What does it mean to you?

If I thought I was truly focused on compassion and on all the ways it can and should be shown before joining 1000Speak, I was wrong. My involvement with 1000Speak inspires me daily to show greater compassion, to do all that I can in my small corner of the globe to treat others kindly and fairly with care with the hope that such compassion will help and ripple out from them to inspire others to do the same. To me, that’s what 1000Speak is all about – being compassionate, sharing and encouraging it and hopefully by way of our efforts we can inspire others and help improve our world.

Marcia certainly encourages us to think deeply and to take action to be compassionate towards ourselves as well as others – as her latest post for #1000Speak shows. An extract follows – click through to read the rest.

why you might feel lonely

Have you ever been involved with a friend or romantic interest who didn’t seem to care about you? What led you to coming to this conclusion?

Was it that you did all you could do to connect with your friend or lover on a deep personal level – you cared about their joy and sorrow. You cared tremendously – so you listened when they spoke about the ups and downs of life that they were experiencing – you asked questions – you did what you could to help them – you supported and encouraged – and without fail, you celebrated their happiness and cheered them on, and you mourned with them when they felt sorrow and offered comfort. Did you do all of this and more for your friend or loved one but then at some point you realized that they were doing none of it in return for you?

Did you come to this realization because your friend or lover never asked anything about you …read more

 

 

Meet the #1000Speak Admins: Gretchen Kelly

Today we continue our series introducing the people behind 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion.and it’s Gretchen Kelly’s turn.

ProfilePicGretchen blogs at Drifting Through My Open Mind where she writes about anything that pops into her head. From life lessons to burning issues that need to be discussed to parenting conundrums. She even occasionally takes a stab at humor.

A wanna-be groupie turned suburban mom, she tries to keep life interesting by seeing live music as often as three kids and life responsibilities allow. Somewhere between the daily routines and the ups and the downs, she writes.

Gretchen is a valued and enthusiastic member of the admin team, helping out on social media and coming up with practical ideas.

I asked Gretchen a couple of questions about 1000 Voices Speak.

Why did you join?

I joined 1000Speak because I found inspiration in what Lizzi and Yvonne started. Yvonne’s idea to create a collective that would spread positivity and love spoke to my heart.

What does it mean to you?

Even though we all sometimes feel the weight of all of the pain and suffering in the world, I still have to believe that there is more good than bad. And to use our words to try to spread that message is something powerful and something I’m honored to be a part of.

This beautiful post below was Gretchen’s first for 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion:

Now’s the Time. Do Something. #1000Speak

“I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping

While my guitar gently weeps”

I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I wanted to do something. I felt helpless as I sat in the backseat. My legs couldn’t yet reach the floor board, my pockets were empty of all but a scuffed up Hot Wheel toy car. But I wanted to do something.

It was the first time I’d seen someone begging for food.

Read the original

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://driftingthrough.com/2015/02/20/nows-the-time-do-something-1000speak/