Stories for Ways to Play

These are news posts that pertain to the different ways to play the Compassion Games.

Missions of Compassion: Finding Our Place in the Space Between 2 Stories

For every Compassion Games “coopetition” (i.e. a collaboration in which players cooperate to compete not against, but with each other), a set of “secret missions of compassion” are sent to players to carry the spirit of a coopetitions’ particular theme. These missions are intended to be a unifying thread, a way to tell a greater story to delight, engage, and connect players and teams throughout the world.

Each set of missions begins with a premise – a kind of “pre-mission” – which is then woven throughout the missions that follow. (Additionally, each mission highlights current global events, as well as showcasing inspiring “Champions of Compassion” – people and organizations we wish to recognize and honor.)

Choosing a mission’s premise can be deceptively difficult… too lofty and esoteric, the message of the missions aren’t accessible. Too simplistic and pollyanna, the missions lose their chance to carry a deeper meaning, and the opportunity to engage with something relevant and real. Striking a balance, as it turns out, can be quite a worthy challenge.

With the alarming social, political, cultural and environmental climate of today’s world, we decided we had no choice but to take a risk in order to offer something to our players that was truly worthwhile and unique. We decided to take a complex and emergent design approach, known as “permaculture,” and break down some of its core principles into compelling daily missions.

Permaculture is a contraction of the words “permanent” and “culture.” Permaculture is a system of design, a way of thinking and solving problems, and way to radically reimagine the type of relationship we humans have with the living world around us. Yet, diving into the principles of permaculture is better understood first with a solid foundation. And so the missions opened with a bold premise indeed: that the “Old Story of the World” is no longer working, and what we are left with now is a space, a space between two stories, for a New Story to emerge.

The following is the opening pre-mission for the 2017 Global Unity Games missions:


Agents of Compassion,

We have critical information for you from Compassion HQ

Since the times of first peoples, we human beings have sat in circle together to tell stories. Passed down over the generations, we told stories to delight and entertain our wonder, but also to warn and inform our curiosity. All stories, in one way or another, answered important questions that have captured the human spirit since our beginning:

Who are we?

Why are we here?

And, “Where are we going?

These are really Big Questions, and so our answers to them make up a really Big Story!

Lately, Agents, it may feel like the Big Story of the World has “gone mad” or “turned upside down.” We may feel that we do not like where we are going right now, as things feel more uncertain, confusing, and divisive on Planet Earth.

We begin to ask, “What exactly is going on here?

One possible explanation is that the Old Big Story we once believed in is not taking us where it once promised. The story and its answers are no longer working – or they never worked all that well – and so the story is starting to fall apart.

When a Big Story starts to fall apart, something very interesting happens: a crack appears where it once stood. This crack, although scary at first, is actually the space where a New Big Story about who we are, why we are here, and where we want to go can emerge.

Agents, we find ourselves now in the rare space between two stories.

In this crack, what type of a story do we wish to seed?

What grows here is up to us…


The opening to the missions takes us down a path which naturally leads us to ask… what will the New Story be? What does it look like?

And what is our individual and collective role in creating it?

This is where permaculture enters the picture.

The Permaculture Design Principles as revised by David Holmgren. Many of these were incorporated into the 2017 missions for the Global Unity Games.

As we mentioned, permaculture is a system of design – a way of thinking about and seeing the world and living within it. The central premise of permaculture is that we humans can actually observe and learn how nature provides the conditions for life to exist, and then create unique human systems based on these conditions to create a culture of abundance and permanence.

In other words, permaculture asserts that we must re-learn how to partner with life, as opposed to exploiting life. Why? Because degrading the natural world directly degrades our own lives, which is what the Old Story has done until now. We see the consequences of this “war on life” all around us.

By “mimicking” how the natural world provides the conditions for life to thrive, permaculture design principles allow us to create solutions that include how to grow healthier food, use energy creatively and efficiently, make sustainable shelters, earn a fulfilling living, grow and nourish community, and even share the surplus of our efforts with others.

Each of the twelve missions explores the New and Old Story framework, while guiding “Agents of Compassion” toward new, regenerative answers to old questions.

The missions culminate in a simple message: the path ahead of us on Mother Earth is full of uncertainty and change. What our New Story requires is a model for living in harmony with the world around us and each other, which means we must find ways to provide the resources to fulfill our collective needs. The Old Story offered plenty of ways to satisfy our endless wants, while providing very little for what we actually need to live and sustain good, long, fulfilling and healthy lives.

The space between these two stories is certainly “edgy.” Luckily, in permaculture, an “edge” represents the interaction of two worlds, an opportunity to build bridges between the old and the new. How we choose to respond to change – and not react to it in the same old way – will determine how the emerging New Story of Our World will be written.

What is written into our world’s New Story is up to us… the ink is not dry yet!


Explore the Missions!

Although the missions were sent out during the Global Unity Games, you can revisit them live at any time. Select “Begin Missions” to receive one mission per day for twelve days via email.

Alternatively, you can review all 2017 Global Unity Games Missions here!

“Acting Kindly” at the Compassion Games

Planet Earthlings is pleased to join the Compassion Games to make the world a better place.07_acting-kindly_silly-singing_v35_poker_v15b_roundedThey’re developing a printed card game called “Acting Kindly” which is a fun and easy way to be part of the games. “Acting Kindly” is played out in public and players practice random acts of kindness and playful deeds to bring joy to others. It can also be played in schools to overcome bullying.

Here’s a video about the game: http://www.planetearthlings.org/landing/

08_acting-kindly_truth-sleuth_v35_poker_v15b_roundedThey are globally distributing ProtoDecks of the game to a limited number of people/organizations who want to join the Planet Earthlings team to participate in the Compassion Games. The ProtoDeck has four sets of 14 cards so four teams of two to five players can play with a single deck. If you want to join the Planet Earthlings team e-mail them at: info@planetearthlings.org.

Learn more and support the project at: www.planetearthlings.org

Pass the Compassion Torch at the 2015 Parliament: Face to Face and Heart to Heart

parliamentThe world’s religious and spiritual traditions, represented by nearly 10,000 people, came together under one roof during October 2015 in Salt Lake City for the Parliament of World’s Religions. Along with them came thousands of cultures, spiritual practices, and traditions, providing a tremendous opportunity for meeting each other, building relationships, and creating unity in diversity. And equally, presenting quite a challenge.

Parliament Side 1 - RevisedAs organizers of such an event, how do you create an environment that is welcoming and safe, yet easily provides meaningful ways for people of all backgrounds to meet and get to know one another? The Parliament tasked the Compassion Games with the challenge of coming up with a new “way to play” to do just that. Thus, Pass the Compassion Torch at the Parliament was born!

Every attendee at the Parliament was given a “Compassion Torch” inside their totebag as a starting point for building relationships with others. Playing was simple: a person’s mission, should they choose to accept it, was to use the Compassion Torch as a way to introduce themselves, and take a photo with each other passing the Torch.

The photos were then sent to PassTheTorch@CompassionGames.org where they were put online and displayed as a parliament-specific album of torch-passing moments. The album could be viewed at the Compassion Games booth in the exhibit hall or online. Parliament of World Religions

Participants were encouraged to visit the booth to check out this collection of photos, as well as pick up their next “Compassion Mission” to help make the Parliament a friendlier, kinder place, based on the Parliament’s four core themes: peace, justice, sustainability, and compassion.

One of the most outstanding Agents of Compassion who played their heart out in passing the torch at the parliament was SimranKaur Khalsa from Longmont, CO. Here is what she shared with us about her experience playing Pass the Torch:

sommersanhar

“Being familiar with the Compassion Games since 2013, I was so thrilled to see the “Pass the Torch” card in our Parliament of the World’s Religions’ packet. It was such a joy to be able to take pictures with others, holding the card between us, and to let people know about the Compassion Games as well as passing the torch. May we continue to pass the torch of compassion so that our world can be a more compassionate one.”

Pass the Torch and the four additional missions were a heartwarming success. We want to “keep the flame alive” now that the Parliament has ended. We are preparing for a number of upcoming “coopetitions”, where players and teams play together, challenging each other to ignite compassionate acts in communities around the world. Please consider participating in any or all of the following:

The Giving Games: Youth and Schools Play it Forward (12/1 – 12/11/15) –  The Giving Games are an 11 day global challenge to inspire, develop, and celebrate our shared humanity through acts of generosity and compassion.  The Giving Games are played worldwide between youth, educators, and mentors to foster safe and fulfilling places of learning, helping the next generation develop into happy, compassionate, creative, and resilient members of our world!

MLK Weekend: Living Beloved Community (1/15 – 1/18/16)  – This coopetition is focused on bringing Dr. Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community to life.  Dr. King’s Beloved Community is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated. Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred.

World Interfaith Harmony Week (2/1 – 2/11/16)  – Designed to promote peace, harmony, collaboration and tolerance between all faith and spiritual traditions in the spirit of altruistic play. This will be the second year that the Compassion Games is participating in this UN-sponsored week of interfaith cooperation.

We want to thank everybody at the Parliament for embracing the Compassion Games in such a meaningful way. We are inspired by our experiences at the Parliament, eager to carry this compassion movement forward with each of you as we come together to reclaim the heart of humanity.

We also see the opportunity to play Pass the Torch at other events and activities. This is a great way to open hearts and to get to know each other and we encourage you to build authentic connections and dream up additional missions that can help make our face-to-face gatherings more fun, inspiring, creative and long-lasting!

9/11 Day and Compassion Games: Catalyzing More Good Deeds Than Ever!

For many people the tragic events of 9/11 changed their lives. Being a proud New Yorker, that was the day that everything changed for me as well. My life as a social entrepreneur – including the birth of the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities and the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest – can be linked back to that fateful day.

It is therefore a great honor to be partnering with 9/11 Day. It is deeply moving to see the Compassion Games woven into the vision that on 9/11, not only was there an unbelievable tragedy, but there was also an unprecedented level of humanity, caring, and love that emerged and was shared around the world on that day. The goal of 9​/11 Day ​is to keep alive the spirit of unity and compassion that arose in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, providing a positive, helpful way for people to annually kl-stargirl02i-fish0814remember and pay tribute to the 9/11 victims, and honor those that rose in service in response to the attacks.

David Paine and his partner Jay Winuk wanted to establish September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under federal law. “We wanted to create a permanent and positive way for the nation to annually honor all of the victims and heroes of 9/11, in a way that increasingly helps people in need, year after year.” said Winuk.

Over the next few years, David and Jay created MyGoodDeed and worked with communities to build participation in the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, which became known as “9/11 Day,” gradually gaining more and more support for it in the U.S. Congress.  

Then in 2009 with strong bi-partisan backing, MyGoodDeed, successfully secured passage of federal legislation by the United States Congress, with a subsequent Presidential Proclamation, that officially recognized and established September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance under U.S. law.  

On August 18th, 2015, Compassion Games International and 9/11 Day announced a strategic partnership with the aim to EarthHugFishfurther amplify, ignite, and catalyze compassionate action in communities around the world. The Compassion Games is a 9/11 Day featured partner and 9/11 Day is a sponsor of the Compassion Games.  Read the joint press release here.

To help communicate about this relationship and synergies between us, we asked David Paine to answer four questions about our partnership.

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Compassion Games International (CGI): Why is compassion important to your work?

David Paine (DP): In the weeks immediately following the 9/11 attacks, our nation experienced a remarkable period of unity and compassion. It was a real awakening. We stopped worrying about our differences and realized how much we all have in common as human beings. If we truly want to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 and the many who bravely rose in service in response, we ought to rekindle that spirit of unity and compassion in our country. That’s what 9/11 Day is all about, and why we are so supportive of the Compassion Games.

CGI: Why is playing and supporting the Compassion Games a good idea?

DP: People by nature are compassionate, but sometimes in the face of our busy society we can get out of practice and see our skills for compassion diminish. What is so great about the Compassion Games is that it provides tangible ways for people to develop and use those skills again, and helps them become more compassionate throughout the year.

CGI: How can people learn more about your work?

DP: We invite everyone interested in doing a good deed on 9/11 to visit our website at 911Day.org, watch our video and take the Good Deed Challenge. We also have a national list of volunteer opportunities for 9/11; free lesson plans for teachers, mentors and parents to help them share stories about 9/11 with younger children and teens; and toolkits for employers and organizations.

CGI: What is your hope and dream for this year’s annual Compassion Games?

DP: I’d love to see millions of people enter the Compassion Games this year, and see what happens to them personally as a result. I’d love to hear their stories!

CGI: Thank you, David and Jeff for all your remarkable efforts! You two are clearly pioneering “Champions of Compassion”.

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The Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest begins on September 11th and continues through September 21st, the International Day of Peace, and is part of the 11 Days of Global Unity. Visit our website at www.CompassionGames.org.

The Compassion Games is encouraging people from all over the globe to participate in the annual Compassion Games. Kick-off the Games by taking the 9/11 Good Deed Challenge, invite others to play, and share your experiences with the world on the Compassion Report Map. (Players can report anonymously if they prefer.)

In support of the 9/11 Good Deed Challenge, a short video was prepared for this years 9/11 Day, called “Hope was Born on 9/11.”

Can it be that hope was born on 9/11? Can we come together in unprecedented compassionate action to demonstrate that we as a people are capable of bringing love and kindness to a world in need? The answer lives in each of us; in our heads, hearts, and hands.

Game on!
Take the 9/11 Good Deed Challenge Here!

Take the 9:11 Challenge

Secrets Revealed: Anonymous Agent Spills the Beans on the Secret Agents of Compassion

Shhh! Want to know a secret? This story is about to reveal one of the best kept Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest mysteries. For the past four years, an elite, undercover team have taken on missions of life-altering proportions, changing the very fabric of our world. We think it’s time for the word to get out, for the world to appreciate what they’re doing, and for countless others to join in.

You may not know it, but there is a global team of people who get up each day and are guided to complete
missions of goodness that come straight from their hearts. These people are known as Secret Agents of Compassion, and are Crest PNGmembers of what has just been revealed as the International Kindness Team (IKT).  

You may be interacting with a Secret Agent of Compassion right now and not even know it. In fact, you may even be one of these agents and not realize it!  Secret Agents of Compassion are often just too humble to think they are a Secret Agent of Compassion, but they are.

A Secret Agent exemplifies a mode of leadership that differs from the public leader that has come to be over-celebrated in our modern culture. Instead, they represent a form of leadership that can best be captured in the aphorism:

“There is no limit to what a person can do or where they can go if they don’t mind who gets the credit.”

Agent-Badge-2-300x280The IKT began with the very first Compassion Games in 2012 and continues to grow, yet remains one of the best kept secrets of the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest. That is, until now!

During each Compassion Games coopetition, players sign up and receive a daily mission via email (or on a secret social media site) as a Secret Agent of Compassion. They perform their acts of kindness and then share them with the world via the Compassion Report Map. (Agents can continue to report their secret acts of kindness any time of the year and they can report their actions anonymously, although this is not required.)

Right now, missions are being prepared for the International Kindness Team for the Annual Compassion Games that begin on September 11, a US National Day of Service and Remembrance, and continue through September 21, the UN’s International Day of Peace.

On very rare occasions, one of the agents is ‘discovered’ by accident, in which case the secret of their identity Agent Anonymous Photomust not be disclosed. We were fortunate enough to find such an agent who was willing to spill the “heart beans” and answer some of the most revealing questions about why someone would want to be a Secret Agent of Compassion, and why someone should participate in the 2015 Annual Compassion Games.

-Transcript of Interview Begins-

Compassion Games International (CGI) Interviewer: Agent Anonymous, I can’t begin to tell you what a thrill it is to be here with you today. Thank you for stepping forward to finally reveal some of the information behind the Secret Agents of Compassion. We’ve just been dying to know how it all works.

Agent Anonymous: When something is overflowing with goodness, it deserves to be shared and known. I believe it’s time for the International Kindness Team to be revealed in order to get the exposure that is overdue. And I hope doing so will inspire others to become Secret Agents of Compassion, as well.

CGI: Fantastic! We surely hope so. So, Agent Anonymous, let’s begin, shall we? Let me start by asking what got you interested in becoming a Secret Agent of Compassion?

Agent Anonymous: You know, it just seemed like the right thing to do. In fact, I found it easier and more rewarding to be kind than to act indifferent or insensitive toward others. I finally realized that this indifference was also something I was showing myself, and I wasn’t any better for it. But I didn’t always know these things. I had to make many less-than-graceful mistakes to appreciate how much better it is to live from the heart and act with compassion.

CGI: Mmm, that must take serious humility and courage to come to terms with. Why is it important to be a Secret Agent of Compassion?

Agent Anonymous: You know, it really does! And nobody will ever be able to calculate the multiple ripple effects of doing good for another, for the Earth and even for oneself. Suffice to say, I think it’s more important to be an Agent of Compassion than I will ever fully realize myself. When somebody brings light and goodness into the world, it brightens it up for the benefit of everybody.

CGI: It certainly does… But why keep it a secret?

Agent Anonymous: That’s a great question and the simple answer is, you don’t have to. Most agents prefer the anonymity and claim they receive even greater pleasure in doing these acts without any interest in receiving credit. In this regard, it is quite rewarding to be part of a secret, global International Kindness Team. Not even I know who the other members are, minus the few who are on my local team!

CGI: Well, the element of mystery certainly keeps the excitement alive, even for you I imagine! Do you know who writes the missions?

Agent Anonymous: Interestingly enough, I do! I stumbled upon this information quite by accident, but that’s a longer story. The heart and brains behind the secret operation is Andy Smallman, founder of Kind Living and the Puget Sound Community School.  Recently, Andy has consulted with David Spangler, the American Spiritual philosopher and self-described “practical mystic,” to write the missions.

CGI: Andy Smallman? I’ve never heard of him, but I feel like I should have. What makes these people qualified to write these missions?

andysmallfish

A rare photo taken of Andy by the recipient of his act of kindness.

Agent Anonymous: Well, that’s because Andy is too humble to take credit for all of his remarkable work. Andy has been promoting kindness for well over 20 years. He believes if you develop one’s character with compassion and empathy that success and achievement, however YOU define them, happen naturally. To really understand this, people should check out PSCS, the incredible school he created for middle and high schoolers in Seattle. As for David Spangler, he has been helping people live more authentic lives through his writings, lecturing, and teaching since the early 1970’s. Back then, he was co-director of the spiritual community of Findhorn in northern Scotland. He now serves as director of the Lorian Center for Incarnational Spirituality.

When it comes to understanding, guiding, and inspiring others to act with kindness, these guys have got more than enough chops to write the secret missions for the Annual Compassion Games coopetition.

CGI: Wow, no kidding! And each mission is also paired with such charming artwork as well. Do you know who illustrates the missions to make them so inspiring and fun?

Agent Anonymous: Now there is a mystery for the ages. We know that the artist’s name is Fish (astronaut). fishprofileHe is a long-time collaborator of Andy’s, but other than that, there is not much known about him. On his website he says: “I love all creatures big and small.” I suppose the rest is up to your imagination.

CGI: Fascinating… the saga simply continues. Agent Anonymous, may I ask something super confidential, something risky for even you to reveal? Can I ask if these missions have ever been life-threatening?

Agent Anonymous: Mmm… you’re really putting me on the spot here, aren’t you? (Agent Anonymous laughs and smiles.) Well, the missions can sure be terrifying! Sometimes reaching out to engage with someone can bring one to panic! There’s no question that being a Secret Agent in the Compassion Games take people out of their comfort zones and directly into their stretch zone, but there’s really no need to panic.  Quite the contrary to “life-threatening”… this kind of play can change human life on Planet Earth as we have come to know it. “Life-altering” may be a better way to phrase your question, and the answer to that question is yes: these missions can be truly life-altering!

CGI: Thank you for answering such a sensitive question there, Agent Anonymous. I can see how these missions can be life-altering, indeed. What is it really like being a member of the International Kindness Team?

Agent Anonymous: I take great pride in knowing that we – all of us – are building this team together to strengthen our collective capacity to act with compassion and insight, to more effectively deal with the challenges of our time. As the theme for the 2015 Annual Games is “Compassion is the power source for social innovation,” we take what we do very seriously, but also, very playfully! I can think of no more rewarding experience.

CGI: Incredible. How does one actually become an agent?

Agent Anonymous: It’s simple and powerful, it’s free and priceless. Sign up here to let the International Kindness Team (IKT) HeartQuarters know that you’re in. By signing up with the IKT, you’ll receive 11 missions during the Annual Games from September 11 through September 21 to ignite and catalyze compassion in our world. That’s all there is to it.

CGI: You can count me in! Do you have to think of yourself as a compassionate person in order to be an agent of compassion?

Agent Anonymous: Not exactly. Sometimes we act compassionately and sometimes we don’t. So long as your commitment is to acting as compassionately as possible, you qualify to be an agent!

CGI: Agent Anonymous, thank you so much for being with us today, and for revealing such important information for our world. It has been simply inspiring, and a true pleasure.

Agent Anonymous: Oh, the pleasure has been all mine, really. It’s time for this to be known. I encourage anyone reading this interview to officially become a Secret Agent today, and join the emergence of the International Kindness Team. Together we can change the world, one secret act of compassion at a time. Thank you.

-End of Transcript-

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We are thrilled to publish this exposé to reveal this remarkable team. We invite you to join in and be a Secret Agent of Compassion and participate in the world’s largest compassion competition and kindness team! Still have questions? You can find out more here.

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Secret Agents, Mission 1:

It has been discovered that a powerful antidote exists that can counteract the hate, hurt, and negativity that plagues our global community. This highly potent antidote is called “compassion,” and it exists within you.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to become a Secret Agent of Compassion, and disseminate the antidote to change the fabric of our world.

Accept Mission Button

Highlights for Earth Week from Around the World!

Greetings Compassionistas of Planet Earth!

We are proud to report that over 30 teams from 4 continents inspired thousands of people to come together, acting in ways that affirm our love and compassion for the Earth and all her inhabitants. This awakening biophilia, or “love of life”, is transforming the world!

We are still in the process of gathering the reflection reports on the Compassion Mapand have set a “liveline” (deadline) on the Scoreboard for Friday, May 8th. If you participated in Earth Week or Earth Day, add your report to make your actions known to the world! These reports uplift countless others, measure our collective impact, and show what we are capable of when we come together to act compassionately in our communities!

Here are some of the stories and highlights from Earth Week that we are aware of so far!


 

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.31.53 AMOne of the new and most exciting ways to play during Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week was on the Story Mapping Challenge. We want to give a huge thank you to our partner Esri for making this resource available. In the challenge, players upload a photo of a place they love and tell a story about why they love this place. Take a look to explore a literal world of stories of people from around the planet, and consider adding your own to the map!


Biophiliac and Proud Meme Small

Are you a biophiliac, or “lover of life”? A positive relationship with the natural world is being identified by scientific research as a

key indicator for one’s sense of overall well-being and even feelings of compassion. During Earth Week, people were proud to identify themselves as a biophiliacs and rally behind their love of life as a motivator for compassionate action and change. Learn more about the profound advantages to unleashing your inner biophiliac and living a longer, healthier life here!


 

We are deeply grateful to Andy Smallman, David Spangler, Fish Astronaut, and everyone from the International Kindness Team who organized these incredible missions and activities associated with the Secret Agents of Green Compassion. Here is an excerpt from Day 1’s Mission:

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.44.20 AMGood Morning Agents…

As Secret Agents of Green Compassion, we are part of a conspiracy with nature. Conspiracy comes from the Latin meaning “to breathe together,” which is literally what we do with nature.  We take in her substance in various ways and she takes in ours in reciprocity. We conspire together to express life on earth. But just what is this conspiracy to which we belong? And how are we conspiring?

Intrigued to know more? View all 8 missions that took place during Earth Week here and find ways to help bring ourselves and other humans into balance with nature as we shower the Earth with green compassion.


Compassion As

The Mayors & Cities League stepped up in a big way for Serve the Earth Week. In 2013, Mayors from around the country passed a landmark resolution calling for compassion as effective public policy. We all know documents aren’t enough to accomplish the compassionate change we seek, so cities like Louisville, KY under the leadership of Mayor Greg Fischer hosted their annual “Give-A-Day” where community members gave one day of Earth Week back to the community through acts of compassionate service. Learn more here!


Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 10.38.57 AM

Baltimore’s riots last week have highlighted the growing unrest and injustices across America. Many are being forced to rethink assumptions we’ve made about race, power, civility, and compassion. Yet, leaders like Reverend Jim Lee are stepping up to guide us away from despair and into a place of compassion and profound healing. He urges his community to “Love our way through the pain. Let’s make the pain the lesson, not the reason.” Check out the way Lee’s community of Metro Detroit used the Compassion Games Earth Week coopetition to uplift one another and find pride in their city and the places they love.


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Can the love of money and oil be greater than the love people have for their home, land, and waters? In Seattle, WA community members, activists, and the Indigenous Peoples League are standing up to Shell Oil who intends to dock their drilling rigs in Seattle ports before expanding their exploration of the arctic for oil. Learn and be inspired here by what this community is doing in creative and loud ways to say “sHell No!” with a flotilla of kayaks and the power of the people!

 


The Earth gives us everything… water, food, shelter, and ultimately life! This Compassion Games coopetition – focused on awakening a love for our planet in a way that is positive, playful, and collaborative – was a remarkable way to ignite compassionate action to give back to our only home.

Start preparing for the Annual, Global September Compassion Games! Beginning on 9/11’s National Day of Service and ending on 9/21, the International Day of Peace, this Compassion Games coopetition takes place during the 11 Days of Global Unity. Learn more about it here!

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Thank you for all that YOU do to make the world a safer, kinder, and more vibrant place to live for the Earth and all living beings! Love wins!

Love of Salish Sea Ignites Groundswell Opposition to Shell’s Arctic Drills in Seattle During Earth Week

A message from Earth Day of a possible future:

“It is on this day, this remarkable day, we give thanks to our ancestors. In the darkest time of our species’ history they faced a profound challenge. They faced themselves.

It is the very fact that we are here, alive today in abundance and safety, surrounded by our kin in this unfolding story of life, that we know they were mindful of our coming. We give our deepest thanks that they saw past the persuasions of an old and broken worldview, that they looked past dire uncertainty with courage and incredible strength.

We give our gratitude to you, ancestors, for unifying as One Human Family in the vision of a new story that teaches us, even now, to walk lightly on the Earth together with respect, with generosity… with compassion forever in our hearts for this Earth that we dearly love.”

-Ode to the Ancestors
in the Time of Great Remembering
Earth Day, Year 2200
 

Today is April 24, and it is Earth Week in the year 2015. Right now…you are alive, and what a time it is to be alive! We live in momentous times… At our fingertips we have access to a universe of knowledge and information that couldn’t even be fathomed just fifty years ago by the brightest thinkers. We have discovered laws of the universe that would baffle Newton himself. We are beginning to understand just how profoundly that all life is interconnected, that we are more like one great interdependent “super-organism” instead of the isolated individuals we may believe ourselves to be.

It is Earth Week 2015, and we – the “big-we,” the “human-race-we” – have profound opportunities placed before us, choices that are only ours to make. Can we transmute the knowledge and information we have acquired now into wisdom, and into compassionate action? Instinctually, we know that the war we are waging with nature must come to an end…this planet, after all, is our home. When the Earth suffers, we all suffer.

In Seattle, we are in the middle of celebrating the Compassion Games “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” coopetition (April 8-26). Communities around the world are challenging themselves and each other to inspire one another ignite our biophilia, or “love of life”, into compassionate action for the Earth. The Games are playful, but the stakes here are high; we are doing heavy lifting with a light heart. In the Pacific Northwest, an onslaught of fossil fuel companies intend to turn our home into a fossil fuel corridor for profit headed overseas, jeopardizing the land and waterways that life depends upon.

Biophiliac and Proud Meme SmallAmidst this backdrop of proposed fossil fuel development, Shell’s arctic drilling rigs are approaching Seattle ports, planning to dock and wait for a key seasonal window to explore the arctic and drill for oil. The lease for Shell to dock in Seattle was acquired privately without a public hearing. Consequentially and inevitably, a groundswell of opposition has arisen at the thought of such a tool being harbored here, considering Shell’s history of oil spills and disaster unpreparedness. For one, an environmental impact evaluation was never conducted to assess the risks of housing the oil rigs in Seattle waters. Perhaps even more critically, leaving the arctic oil in the ground is a high priority for all of us wishing to prevent Earth’s global temperature from rising two degrees celsius. A price, as they say, cannot be put on the havoc left behind in the event of an oil spill, or for that matter, the devastating cost of climate change.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.28.21 PMEnvironmental groups from the “sHell No Coalition” such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, BackBone Campaign, 350Seattle, Climate Solutions, and many others are organizing rallies and direct action to disrupt the rigs. Bill Moyer of the Backbone
Campaign says they aim to welcome the rigs into Seattle with the infamous “Flotilla of Kayaks,” but then make sure “the rigs never leave.” If successful, Shell’s rigs will miss their brief window to explore the arctic to drill for oil. (The rigs have already attempted to find oil, but Mother Nature has thus far taken a dire toll on the operation. Many fear an oil spill is inevitable if they continue, and would be impossible to mitigate).

So how do we actually turn our love into action and spark a movement to solve the challenges of our time? The last day of the Compassion Games “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” is on Sunday, April 26, and we are taking to the streets to act on behalf of the Earth.

A “Love Activation Dance Mob” will be starting at 11 a.m. in North Seattle and culminating at 2 p.m. at Seattle Center’s International Fountain, bringing together dancers, activists, percussionists, and musicians to celebrate the end of Earth Week.

The dance mob will then head down to the “sHell No – Seattle Draws the Line” rally at Myrtle Edward’s Park. The Nawtsmaat Alliance – an Indigenous lead alliance of Native and Non-Native peoples who aim to protect the region – will be represented. Sundance Chief Rueben George and Elder Ta’Ah George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr., and Annie Leonard of GreenPeace will be among the speakers. The rally is leading up to a peaceful direct action in may known as the “Festival of Resistance,” where the people’s flotilla will attempt to prevent the rigs from leaving. (Have a kayak and want to train to get involved for the action in May? Go here!).

RSVP for the “Love Activation Dance Mob” here, and contact the organizer Sommer Joy Albertsen (Sommer@IslandJoyWellness.com) to coordinate get involved!

Go here to RSVP for the “sHell No – Seattle Draws the Line” at Myrtle Edwards Park on Sunday, April 26 at 2 p.m.!

Do you have an unrelinquishing love of the Salish Sea? Do you feel called to unleash your biophilia, or “love of life,” to ensure the Earth and all her species are protected in this life and for generations to come? It’s going to take all of us! Play in the Compassion Games “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” coopetition and join us this Sunday at 2 p.m. We look forward to rallying with you in the name of wisdom, compassion, and of course, life itself!

Our relatives of the future will appreciate it.

Mayors as Leaders in the Compassion Movement

As citizens, we understand the power of public policy and the choices that a Mayor can make. We know that budgets are moral documents that reflect the values of our community and are then carried out by our elected officials.

We also know that now is a tough time to hold public office with so many fellow citizens distrusting the government and the political process.  Therefore, we think it is particularly meaningful to recognize outstanding leaders who are committed to integrating compassion as a part of their approach to building community and setting public policy.

murrayWe are happy to report that the Honorable Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle has issued a Proclamation in support of the Love This Place: Serve the Earth Week coopetition taking place from April 18 to 26.

Here is a mayor’s proclamation that recognizes the extraordinary challenges we face as a planet such as “climate change, global health issues, violence, food and water shortages, and economic struggles.”

It also states that “each of us have a right to a healthy, sustainable environment;” and “the global community must come together to create compassionate solutions to our global challenges.”

With Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle and the Honorable Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville, we have two Mayors who are in tune with the urgent call of our time and who recognize the importance of compassionate responses to these challenges.

We also know that proclamations and speeches are not enough. These mayors are calling us to get engaged and give time in service to our communities to address these challenges and opportunities.

Mayor Greg Fischer from Louisville has organized Give A Day during the Mayor’s Week of Service that coincides with the “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” coopetition (April 18-26).

Mayor Fischer led the U.S. Conference of Mayors and passed a resolution calling for compassion as part of effective public policy.

In 2012, Mayor Fischer challenged Seattle and communities from all over the world to see who was the most compassionate city.

Seattle took up the challenge and this gave rise to the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest in which we harness the power of compassion and cooperation and add to it the spirit of friendly-competition. This approach to competition brings people together to play and live compassionately in their communities.

During the Compassion Games, teams participate in “coopetitions” that challenge us to amplify the love and compassion we feel as a way to make our communities safer, kinder, and better places to live.

Communities connect the groups, organizations, events, and activities that are already in place to co-create a “collective impact” through mass-collaboration.

Players participate in community service projects, random acts of kindness, act as “Secret Agents of Compassion,” and engage in other fun ways to bring about positive change in their communities. Cooperative play helps us develop the skills to build the capacity to act more compassionately towards each other, ourselves, and the earth.

The last step is a reflective one: Players report and share their acts of compassion and kindness with each other through an online crowdsourcing map. They record the number of volunteers, hours of service, monies raised for local causes, and numbers of people served.  Everybody who plays wins; no one can lose the Compassion Games!

In honor of our earth and Earth Day here is a beautiful video that is an ode to planet earth

 

We are very grateful to the mayor and his staff for mobilizing on behalf and in support of a love this place serve the earth week. Thank you Mayor Murray!

 

Mayor’s Give A Day of Service: http://www.mygiveaday.com/

Compassion Proclamation

 

The Love This Place! Story Mapping Challenge: Crowdsourcing Compassion for Mother Earth

Announcing the
Love This Place! Story Mapping Challenge
for Serve the Earth Week!

In celebration of the Earth and our connection to all life, we invite you to play with us starting now and through the end of Earth Week in the Compassion Games “Love This Place! Story Mapping Challenge!“.  Join us as we crowdsource our love for the Earth and turn it into compassionate action for the benefit of all living beings!

Here is how the Story Mapping Challenge works:
Sit for a moment and reflect on a place in nature that brings you a sense of joy, wholeness, awe, or even peace. It could be a special place in a park or a forest, a garden, or even your backyard. Do you have a special place picked out? Are you picturing yourself there? Wonderful!

Research tells us that just by imagining this special place in the natural world, your autonomic nervous system has calmed down and you’ve given a boost to your immune system, which is incredible! Good work…

Next, take or find a photo of this place and upload it to the Love This Place! Story Map. Here you can tell your story about why you “Love This Place!” where it will join the stories of people from around the planet!

If we can challenge ourselves to collect 1,000 of these “love” stories, we will expand the Story Mapping Compassion Game to include connecting players to care for these special places, transforming our love into compassionate action for the Earth and all her inhabitants! Special thanks to our friends at Esri who have generously supported the Compassion Games.

Are you up for the challenge? Will you help by sharing your stories to get us there by the end of the Serve the Earth Week Coopetition on Sunday, April 26th?!

Let’s awaken our innate biophilia, or “love of life”, in people everywhere so that we can turn our love for these places into effectively caring for them!

What Do You Mean by Crowdsourcing Love for Compassionate Action?

The Internet has opened new possibilities for how we might share and uplift one another. There are many examples of linking and harnessing our collective intelligence as a species in this global, informational age. Think Wikipedia.

We’ve also seen this collective power applied to our financial capital to crowd-fund projects and initiatives that “we the people” deem worthy. Think crowdfunding platforms like KickStarter, IndieGoGo, or GoFundMe.

Well the Earth, our natural capital, is in great peril due to our collective activities and ways of existing on this planet that are incompatible with life. Can we change how we collectively act and relate to each other and the Earth, doing things differently so things will really be different?  Can we change the game from making “more” to making life better for us all?

The Compassion Games are about changing the games we play by ourselves and together. So when it comes to serving our Mother Earth, we ask… “Can we use the technical and social power of crowdsourcing to crowdsource the goodness that’s needed to protect and care for the places we love?” We certainly believe so!

Add your places and stories to the Story Map to start a conversation, a fire. Share these stories with your friends and your family. Encourage them to think of the places on Earth they love, bringing forth an awareness of the love within us for the planet we depend on so that we are inspired to see the Earth protected and cared for!

Add Your Places to the Story Map Here!

“Mankind has gone very far into an artificial world of his own creation. He has sought to insulate himself, in his cities of steel and concrete, from the realities of earth and water and the growing seed. Intoxicated with a sense of his own power, he seems to be going farther and farther into more experiments for the destruction of himself and his world.

There is certainly no single remedy for this condition and I am offering no panacea. But it seems reasonable to believe — and I do believe — that the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.”

– Rachel Carson, Author of “Silent Spring”

Players of Earth Week & Compassion as the Path to Justice and the American Dream

As we’re getting ready for the inaugural Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week coopetition, from April 18 through April 26, we are excited to introduce some of the “players” that will be participating. This is an extremely diverse group including teams from Portugal, Peru, United Kingdom, Italy, and cities in the United States and Canada including Detroit, Michigan, Syracuse, New York and Seattle, Washington.

Interfaith Works is the team in Syracuse, New York that participated in the February World Interfaith Harmony Week coopetition. 87287165-ef33-4691-9cbf-404a0993a93fThey submitted many reports to the Compassion Report Map about their inspiring acts of service. Recently, we talked with Yangwa Benjamani, one of the organizers of the team, and unexpectedly he let us in on the incredibly moving story of his community. Yangwa is from the Congo and his team includes many Congolese immigrants who have made the journey to America.

He reports that in the Congolese community there are many who feel hopeless and are in a state of despair after coming to America.  They realize that their dream of life in America is more difficult than expected and unfortunately they often turn to alcohol and drugs to cope with the disappointment. Yangwa says playing the Compassion Games has brought hope and a way to connect with the American culture. It is a way to show his countrymen that there are people in America who are compassionate and caring.  He reminded us that many of the immigrants were farmers in the Congo who have a deep connection with the land and the water. He said “by being in nature and breathing with nature, they experience more goodness.”  We are thrilled to have interfaith works be one of the teams participating in this upcoming coopetition.

Compassion Games Head Coach Sande Hart has been working with Rev. Jim Lee, Senior Minister of Renaissance Unity Church in 0567091a-ede2-42a3-a662-6d5f4180d64fDetroit, Michigan. Reverend Lee is bringing the Compassion Games to his community as a way to transcend the inclination to violence that stems from injustice.  He knows the Compassion Games is the way to reprogramming that pattern and it can only happen when love wins. Metro-Detroit is focusing on the Love This Place! Story Mapping challenge to literally “love the hell” out of their home.  You can read the full news story “Love the Hell Out of Detroit” here!

We know there are so many remarkable stories out there of people overcoming hardship and bringing compassion into the world. We hope you will join the action for Earth Week to make known what you are doing in your community to help inspire others!

It’s not too late to sign up your team to participate in this upcoming Love this Place! Serve the Earth Week coopetition. You can learn more and register here!


Discover the many ways to play that can connect your community’s activities and events with other teams around the world to make this the most remarkable Earth Week in history!

Learn more and sign up for Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week here.

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Check out the Love This Place! Story Mapping Challenge to crowdsource your love of the Earth into compassionate action for all life! Where are places loved the most? Game on!

Story-Map-Snapshot