Celebrating A Year of Compassion #1000Speak

I took part in the first link up of #1000Speak on February 20th 2015. The intention for that day was to get a thousand bloggers together and spread compassion around the world.

The idea evolved, and there have been monthly prompts on compassion on the 20th of every month for a whole year, and today is the anniversary of the first link-up.

In today’s celebration of compassion, our prompt is to talk about how the year has been for us as a result of taking part!

compassion-1-year

I haven’t taken part regularly. I’ve written six posts over the past year which you can check out here on Compassion in Jane Eyre and Victorian England, on Forgiveness, Anti-bullying, and Nature and Nurture. I’ve also popped in to visit other bloggers posting on the subject, and I’ve retweeted on Twitter and Facebook. I do feel a tiny part of the movement, although I haven’t been consistent enough in my posting or interaction to feel strongly part of a group. I’ll try to take part more often this year ๐Ÿ™‚

It has made me aware of how we can discuss compassion from different viewpoints and encourage people to write about, read about, think about and discuss compassion.

As I’ve missed some of the prompts las year, today I’d like to write about a beautiful prompt I missed in October, on LOVE.

Schoolchildren embracing happy. Multi cultural racial classroom.

Schoolchildren embracing happy. Multi cultural racial classroom.

I was always told at school that two wrongs don’t make a right, and that, as Martin Luther King said, hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. I didn’t fully understand what it meant at the time. I think my Catholic upbringing might have confused me somewhat, with the ‘turn the other cheek’ philosophy, and I’m now sure that this is not the correct approach.

Turning the other cheek is a passive act, although it detracts some of the power from the aggressors, it does nothing to show them that their behaviour is unacceptable, because there is another better way to solve our problems.

If someone is being unjust or cruel, as in bullying or abuse, I am now convinced we should react actively, albeit peacefully, by telling the person we do not agree with their actions, or by showing them another way to approach the situation, and if all else fails, by making sure help is provided for those who need it.

In Martin Luther King’s case, peaceful protests, made it clear that segregation was wrong, and that it would no longer be tolerated. Turning the other cheek would have been the equivalent of accepting injustice submissively.

As a teacher, I have taken part in mediation programmes which enable students to express how they feel and negotiate peaceful ways to solve their problems. When mediation doesn’t work, and the aggressor refuses to reconsider and repair the situation, there are school rules and disciplinary measures which are enforced. I would not expect, or even allow, any child to turn the other cheek.

Similarly, when a colleague, is behaving unreasonably (and this happened recently), I suggest other ways to solve the conflict or approach the problem, which involve, listening, discussing, and negotiating solutions, which will improve the situation for all parties. What I’m not prepared to do is to ignore the situation.

We each have our own limited sphere of influence in the world, where we interact socially and professionally, and in mine, I’m not prepared to turn the other cheek, or allow anyone to turn the other cheek, because I believe #1000Speak is about speaking up because we believe in promoting compassion actively, and that means making sure compassion is discussed, and peaceful alternatives are put forward actively to make the world a better place for everyone.

be-the-change-you-wish-to-see-in-the-world-organization-quote

If you’d like to join in or take part, follow this link.

About LucciaGray

Writer, blogger, teacher, reader and lover of words wherever they are. Author of The Eyre Hall Trilogy, the breathtaking sequel to Jane Eyre. Luccia lives in sunny Spain, but her heart's in Victorian London.

Posted on February 21, 2016, in #1000Speak, Blog and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Tough one this isn’t it. Esp in a public space and anger is all around. But you are right it isn’t the compassionate thing to do to pass by and ignore such behaviour.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Luccia, thanks very much for joining in and sharing your experiences with #1000speak. However tiny you feel your part is, it is valuable and valued!

    I found what you wrote about turning the other cheek very interesting. This term of course is attributed to Jesus. A few years ago I read a book called “Blessings of the Cosmos” (I think that was its name.) Anyway, it was about how many of the things Jesus said have been misinterpreted, partly because they were translated into Latin or Greek and then translated again from those. For this book, the writer went back to the original Aramaic language and translated direct. For example, sin doesn’t mean what we commonly think of nowadays, but simply means a mistake. I can’t remember if “turn the other cheek” was one of the phrases that he wrote about, but I bet it was misinterpreted over the years. I feel fairly confident that Jesus would not have meant we should stand by passively allowing injustice and cruelty to occur.
    Your way of suggesting other ways to solve the conflict or approach the problem seems to me more like the non-violent approach he probably meant.
    Thanks again for your thoughtful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for visiting my blog and your kind words. It’s nice to feel valued ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’m sure Jesus’ teachings are positive and enlightening, and I have no doubt some of them may have been misinterpreted. I always found the other cheek hard to understand, but you may be right in suggesting it was misinterpreted. I’ll look into the book you suggested. Thank you.๐Ÿ’—

      Like

  3. Lovely thoughts I wholeheartedly agree with – Feeling guilty for not making the time to join in with this one especially as I like to think I’m not a bystander! I hope. Continue to demonstrate compassion in a quiet way xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Grr at the auto-editing on that comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Any role you play is a great one – never think your efforts are too sparse or too small. Just keep talking about – and showing – compassion and it can start great change.
    Glad to have you with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I try to be kind and empathetic, not because a religion tells me how I should act, but because it’s the right thing to do, that I am following my instincts and my heart and what it may be telling me.
    It must not be all that easy to be a teacher, having to settle arguments and conflict, but must also be rewarding too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I teach adults now and there is less conflict, but I used to teach teenagers and they are very challenging, but you’re right it’s often very rewarding, too. At one point I had a group of students who were helping by doing peer mediation.

      Liked by 1 person

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