1000 Voices Speak for Compassion – mine is but 1

one of many comppassionate agencies © irene waters 2015

one of many compassionate agencies © irene waters 2015

Today is the day that 1000 Voices will speak for compassion. There is power in numbers and as the website says the world desperately needs compassion now. Our numbers will show politicians and those in power that this is what we want from them also.

Compassion is a natural human response to those people or animals whose plight we see as difficult. We don’t need to have empathy ( the ability to understand and share the feelings of another) to feel compassion. You just need to recognise that something is not right in a person’s life. This could be an individual, private sadness or one that effects entire communities or countries such as war, natural disasters and epidemics. Hopefully the compassion you feel will extend to reaching out a hand in kindness, in an attempt to make the situation easier for the person or people.

Kindness is genuinely caring about the world around you. Showing respect and compassion for others. Not ignoring what is happening but doing something. Little things. Instead of condemning a mother who has lost the plot in the shopping centre and hit her screaming two-year old, go and tell her she looks like she is having a bad day and invite her for a cup of coffee.

We have to be aware of what is around us and not live detached from the world. We have to care for our natural environment and animals. Most of us show great compassion to animals kept in poor circumstances but a little harder to extend that to what is foreign and not understood.

We are all human with the same basic needs and desires. We need to be compassionate and kind to everyone, no matter where they come from, no matter what their religious beliefs and values are or how wealthy they are or different from ourselves they are.  And don’t forget – everyone includes yourself. Be kind to yourself.

People remember those small acts of kindness. Picking up something dropped, providing soup for a bereaved person, even a hug will give the recipient a warm all over glow and this is reflected back to the giver. Not only do you have this wonderful feeling but it seems to lessen your troubles, making them not seem insurmountable and connects you to the world a bit more than you were.

Write to politicians and let them know your displeasure at things like the treatment of refugees and lack of action on climate change. Use social media. Donate to agencies that make a difference in troubled areas of the world. To make change on a world level we have to act together, as one. Such as we are doing today.

I believe you aren’t born being kind (some people probably are) but it is something you can learn and practice. Reach out to others and in time it will come naturally.  Practice will lead to better communication and understanding. It will make your life and perhaps the lives of others meaningful.

Piero Ferrucci in his book the Power of Kindness describes kindness as warm, resilient, patient, trusting, loyal and grateful. He also says that kindness “frees us from getting knotted up in negative attitudes and feelings such as resentment, jealousy, suspicion and manipulation.” If these feelings were gone the world would be a nicer place.




About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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27 Responses to 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion – mine is but 1

  1. noelleg44 says:

    Great choice of picture. Les Medecins sans Frontieres are unsung heroes – deserve a Nobel Peace Prize far more than Al Gore (we call him the Goracle).

    Liked by 3 people

  2. bkpyett says:

    Such a heart warming post Irene! Love these sentiments, and ditto to the work of Les Medecins sans Frontieres!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Great posts. We admire Medicins sans frontieres and so many others that give aid and compassion without favour or bias.
    Donate to them instead of Foxtell or Rupert Murdoch.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Norah says:

    Great post, Irene, with lots of timely reminders. Kindness may not cost a lot but holds great value. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Charli Mills says:

    A great call to compassion through kindness. Action. That is what compassion compels us to — to do something! Call politicians, speak up, speak out, offer a caring hand up. I like your suggestion that reaching out to a frustrated parent is much better than judging and walking away. Moms need that compassion to be able to pass it on to the children. Great kick off to #1000Speak!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. cindy knoke says:

    It is the key to all the kingdoms!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sherri says:

    You exude compassion my lovely friend, and reading this post brings home to me your good and caring heart, the reasons why you went into nursing and why you are the beautiful person you are today. If the world was filled with more people like you, we wouldn’t need to be asking for more compassion as it would already be here >3

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lovely post Irene! We need so much more kindness and compassion in a world that is fast becoming desensitised and cynical

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I agree. I think we see so much on the television now that we have no choice to either become desensitised or turn it off in order to be able to cope with the level of inhumanity that we are being subjected to. Lets hope the posts for 1000 speak have some impact where it is needed.


  9. Certainly a subject that needs attention,and you’re doing your part.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. TanGental says:

    MSF are a truly exceptional outfit; brave beyond belief. Great post (which it has taken me an age to get to because the world is full of interesting stuff today). And it is Hear Hear…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Annecdotist says:

    A lovely post, Irene, and I especially like the political dimension. We have a general election this year and I’m trying – but struggling – to extend my compassion to politicians on the left who have somehow been brainwashed into believing that it’s safer, in asking for my vote, for them to speak to my selfishness than to my compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have wished for many years Anne that we could have a debate in Australia as to what kind of country we would like to live. Naturally it falls on deaf ears and we too have election after election fought and won on economics and which side will give the biggest sweeteners which people are starting to learn never happen post election because those elected suddenly discover the economy of the country has been mismanaged by the other side. I could pull my hair out. We currently have a political team in power that make me weep with their inhumanity.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love that you said “response to those people or animals”. I love that you include animals in your post. It’s so interesting that you don’t think empathy is needed for compassion. You’ve got me thinking. I focused on the fact that you do need empathy in my #1000speak post. I really think empathy is crucial but I’m wondering if, like you said, you can be compassionate without it. We’re getting into defining words, splitting hairs, with this. Is compassion a feeling or an action or both? And how linked are compassion and kindness? This is particularly interesting to me because of some family issues.

    And you’re one of the few people who included being grateful as part of compassion (or kindness). I think that’s key. Great #1000speak post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think you can separate humans and animals. The interesting thing is whether it is easier to show compassion to an animal than to a human.? Do we somehow feel safer whereas we feel vulnerable ourselves when we show it to a human. I do know that it is the first sign a person will show that they have severe mental issues is when they demonstrate cruelty to animals.
      It is probably a matter of semantics but I know eg that I can’t feel empathy with a woman who is giving birth. I’ve never had a child so I can’t pretend to know how it feels whereas you can be empathetic with her. It is the same with escaping from a war zone – I can imagine how it feels but I can’t feel empathy because I have never been there. I can feel sorry for their plight and want to do my best to make it easier for them. Just slight differences but somehow to tell someone you know how they feel when you haven’t experienced the situation doesn’t ring true to me. Whereas to say something like that must have made you feel sad or whatever leaves it open for the person to let out how they did actually feel about it.
      I think compassion and kindness are intertwined to such an extent that they virtually inseparable. Whether they are or not the effect each has is the same. I hope that helps with your family issues.
      Thanks for your kind words. I think the blogging world did a fantastic job on the 20th and if it has done nothing else it has certainly made us think about our own position on compassion and hopefully the world will have 1000 + people who are kinder and make even tiny steps on the road to compassionate responses.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: I feel good! | Norah Colvin

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