Stories for Leagues

These are news posts that pertain to teams and the different leagues they are a part of.

Compassion Day Seattle and the World Trade Center Seattle’s Kick-Off for the Global Unity Compassion Games

On Wednesday, July 27th, a kick-off celebration and networking event took place at the World Trade Center Seattle. Twenty-two non-profits, including the American Cancer Society, Goodwill, and Plymouth Housing, shared their missions with civic and business leaders and invited them to participate in the service opportunities they plan to host during the Global Unity Games. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray officially proclaimed July 27, 2016 as Compassion Day Seattle, kicking off the celebration.


The world’s largest compassion competition is on!  World Trade Center Seattle (WTCS) just put out a “Call to Play” for the upcoming September Compassion Games. WTCS invites all of its members (and non-members) to join the global challenge to find out “Who is the World’s Most Compassionate City?”

The score will be settled during the Global Unity Compassion Games: Tomorrow Together from September 11, a National Day of Service and Remembrance through September 21, the International Day of Peace. This year, Compassion Games International and a coalition of partners are launching “Tomorrow Together”, a five year campaign to “Bring young people together from all over the world to learn about each other and do good deeds in a global expression of hope for a better tomorrow.”  

In the Compassion Games, competition becomes “coopetition” as individuals and teams challenge one another through community service, acts of kindness, and raising funds for local causes. All good deeds, volunteer hours, money raised, and people impacted between the dates of September 11 and September 21 will be recorded via a web-based report map, a platform viewed publicly by millions of people.

On Wednesday, July 27th a kick-off celebration and networking event took place at the World Trade Center Seattle.  Twenty-two non-profits shared with civic and business leaders their missions and invited them to sign up to participate in the service opportunities they plan to host during the September Games.

We all know that business is a key driver for social change. Two remarkable business leaders from the Seattle community spoke at the event, connecting the dots by showing attendees that compassion is good for people and for business, and that it is critical to “sustaining sustainability.”

  • Jean Thompson, founder and CEO of Seattle Chocolates and “jcoco” whose purpose states that: “Giving back to our community is at the heart of jcoco’s mission. To that end, every time you purchase a jcoco product, we will give a fresh, healthy serving of food to someone who would otherwise go hungry. This means, your everyday indulgence makes a vital difference to someone in your community!”
  • Cynthia Figge co-founder of CSRHub, an online resource that maintains ratings on over 15,000 businesses focused on corporate social and environmental responsibility.  “Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.” Cynthia is also the chairperson for the Compassionate Action Network.

In addition to business leaders, mayors have a key role to play in motivating their cities. Mayors across the U.S. are proving that compassion is a vital component of effective public policy, and the Mayor of Seattle is no exception. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proclaimed July 27 as Compassion Day Seattle to support the kick-off event at the World Trade Center.

0072-WTC-Compassion-Games-2016-Jerry-and-Lois-Photography.jpg World Trade Center, Seattle | Compassion Games | July 2016 © Jerry and Lois Photography All rights reserved http://www.jerryandlois.com

City of Seattle Proclamation
World Trade Center, Seattle | Compassion Games | July 2016
© Jerry and Lois Photography
All rights reserved
http://www.jerryandlois.com

Seattle’s arch-rival Louisville, Kentucky and their Mayor Greg Fischer challenged us to see “who’s got the edge on kindness”, releasing two Public Service Announcements to proclaim the challenge.

Our goal for the event was to recruit Seattle players and partners to join with WTCS non-profits and participate in the Compassion Games. Here’s an example of feedback we received:

“Shelley, thank you so much for having us at the event last week. Roxanne had a great time and felt like she made a huge impact with her speech, and we also signed up 5 teams from that event for our walk!!!  Thank you again and I have registered our event with the Compassion Games website as well!” Katie Johnson, American Cancer Society

The 180 Foundation, Plymouth Housing Group, Hope Heart Institute, Goodwill and other non-profits have already signed up as teams.

In addition to the Seattle area events and activities, World Trade Center Seattle is challenging all the 300+ World Trade Center’s around the world to play in the September Games.

Compassion Games International is thrilled to be a new member of World Trade Center Seattle and are grateful to Shelley Tomberg and Columbia Hospitality for producing this kick-off celebration and networking event.  We thank USI Kibble and Prentice for sponsoring the event, as well as their leadership in fostering and encouraging civic and community involvement.

https://www.facebook.com/compassiongames/videos/995839073869851/

This year is the 15th anniversary of 9/11. We invite you and your community to get involved. Sign up to play as an individual and then if you choose to register a team to participate in the games. Game on!

View Photos From the Event!

 
 

Is Texas Becoming the Most Compassionate Place on Earth?

Even though Texas is the second largest state in the union when it comes to size and population, it appearsphotothat it won’t be second when it comes to compassionate action. Look at what’s happening in the Lone Star State!

On April 14th 2016, the Mayor and City Council members of Austin, Texas’ state capital, voted to join with San Antonio, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth in becoming a “self designated” compassionate city: Compassionate Austin. There are now over 350 cities around the world that have embarked on similar campaigns.  

It is well known that Austin is an incredible city that is smart, super cool, and determined to “keep Austin weird,” but now it is championing compassionate action and elevating compassion throughout the city.  Last week, the Austin Symphony Orchestra performed the United States premiere of the song cycle “Compassion” by Nigel Westlake and Lior Attar. At the performance a group of University of Texas business school students did their service learning project on the theme of compassion by hosting a “Compassion Corner,” where they engaged people in sharing their thoughts and stories of compassion.  The week before they created videos of people telling their stories of compassion at a “Compassion Conversations” exhibit and panel discussion at the Blanton Museum of Art.

The Austin City Council Resolution recognizes that “we are all compassionate Austin” and encourages everyone in Austin, city departments, area school districts, community and faith groups and all Austinites to participate in the Compassion Games as a way to show 3D compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth) and strengthen compassionate action. At a City Hall press conference, following the passing of the Resolution, there were speeches made by representatives of Rosedale School (Austin Independent School District), the Austin Public Libraries, Earth Day Austin 2016, Interfaith Action of Central Texas, and Raindrop Women’s Association/Turkish House. Each of these groups, as well as others, participate in the Compassion Games and represent the many champions of compassion in Austin.

Lesa Giving Speech

Dr. Lesa Walker speaking for the resolution at City Council to inaugurate Austin as a Compassionate City.

This was clearly a brilliant strategic move on Compassionate Austin’s part. The City Council affirmed the Resolution just in time for the kick off of the Serve the Earth Week Compassion Games. Cities from all over the world will now have to consider ways to up their “compassion game” in response to this wave of goodness and compassion strength coming out of Austin, Texas. Here is a video of Compassionate Austin organizer Dr. Lesa Walker talking about the resolution and commitment to playing in the Compassion Games.

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Dr. Walker with Simone Talma Flowers and Kuaybe Nur after successfully passing the Compassionate City resolution.

Lesa Walker says, “We now plot our course with compassion and envision ourselves as a Compassionate City.  However, we still face very serious unmet needs in our community.  We need to earn our designation as a Compassionate City through our daily compassionate action! We all own these issues and need to work together to address them.”

Earth Week: Love This Place!

Earth Day Austin is one of the teams in the Serve the Earth Week: Love this Place! Compassion Games and is organizing the Earth Day Austin 2016 festival happening on April 23.  As awesome as these actions are, the largest Earth Day festival in the world does not take place in Austin but takes place in Dallas, Texas with over 600 exhibitors. Compassionate Dallas-Fort Worth will be at that festival in Dallas thanks to Dr. Charles Barker, organizer of Compassionate Dallas-Fort Worth, and his remarkable team.

Congratulations to everyone in Texas for the remarkable work they’re doing to bring compassion to life! Want to see more of the creative and social innovation coming out of Austin? Take a look at this Austin Social Entrepreneurship Map. Compassion is the power source for social innovation. It is the power source to meet our personal and community needs and create a better world!  

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

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Ms. Lia Mandelbaum and a Compassionate Uprising

One of the great joys of organizing the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest is meeting remarkable people who take the Games and do truly amazing things. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Lia Mandelbaum, a writer for the Jewish Journal and a resounding Champion of Compassion.

The following interview with Lia is organized into short segments highlighting some of the incredible things she was able to accomplish with the Games. (The complete interview is available at the bottom of this article.)

How Lia Got Involved with the Compassion Games and the Games in Prison [1:39]

Lia’s path first crossed with the Compassion Games when she took on the assignment of writing about them for the Jewish Journal. Her article got the attention of Shayna Lester, an interfaith minister who brought the Compassion Games into a prison in California. Shanya asked Lia to help get the word out about the remarkable outcome of hosting the Compassion Games in a women’s prison. During the 11 days of the Annual Compassion Games, 4,600 acts of compassion had been committed without the occurrence of a single act of violence. Lia went on to learn how the Games were used in the prison with a set of remarkable tactics to bring them life. For example, the head gang leaders took on the role of “Compassion Ambassadors”, making it okay for others to show compassion without it being held against them. Over those 11 days, the Games helped transform the entire culture of the prison. As Lia states in this segment: “When you treat people like human beings they can rise to the occasion, even people that you totally doubt.”

How Lia Brought the Games to Roybal High School in Pico-Union Los Angeles [0:37]

Lia went on to write her masters thesis on the impact of the Compassion Games in prison (Read: A Case Study on the Compassion Games) and brought the Compassion Games to the high school where she worked as a teacher and therapist. Lia shared the article she wrote with her supervisor, a psychiatric social worker. Her supervisor didn’t even finish reading the article before she knew she wanted to bring the Games to the high school because of their culture changing capabilities: “If this can transform a prison community, it can absolutely help our community,” she said.

Its Not Always Easy to Show Compassion [0:28]

Yet, this is not just any high school. The Edward R. Roybal High School is in the Pico Union area of Los Angeles, which has the highest concentration of gang activity in LA. They are doing remarkable things to respond to these challenges. As Lia describes in the talk: “the youth have difficult hardships” and showing compassion is risky and can be perceived as a weakness; they need to have “rough edges” just to survive and so cultivating compassion is often not an “easy, breezy thing to bring about.”

The Games Were a Student-Led Initiative [0:26]

With a new orientation toward the importance and power of compassion, they shifted into community organizing mode and the student government formed a committee committed to bringing the Games to the school. By engaging student government the initiative was student led. They appointed Compassion Ambassadors to help spread the word. They organized a Compassion Rush, a Compassion Pledge, and a Gratitude Wall where they shared acts of kindness and caring that was taking place around the campus.

Understanding and Communicating about Compassion is Challenging [0:43]

She explains that they hit a wall when it came to understanding what compassion is. They decided to bring in presenters to help make the case for compassion and have discussions in the classroom about what compassion is. They went into the classes to ask: “What does compassion mean to you? Why does it have value?  Why put effort into it?”

Students Discuss the Shame Associated with Having Family Members in Prison [0:53]

In the discussions they uncovered the difficulty students had in understanding compassion and the great deal of shame around family members being incarcerated.  In response to these challenges, they invited a civil litigator to join them and talk about the need for a more compassionate criminal justice system, and how it was possible to be incarcerated in a way that is humanizing and not dehumanizing. Lia said “I watched as he would talk about people getting incarcerated in such a humane way and the kids, their faces softened, because that’s not a message they hear all the time.”

Music: The Unexpected Doorway for Males to Share Their Feelings [1:29]

Not surprisingly, male students had a difficult time opening up to express their emotions and experiences. There is one student that she describes as having “so much feeling inside but being so afraid to show it”.  Lia discovered that when they listened to music together, this became a safe way for him to show his feelings; she explains that Johnny Cash’s music in particular “opened a door for him and gave him permission to share his deepest pain and anguish”.  So they brought in individuals from the music industry who shared the meaning of lyrics from different musical artists including Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, Sly and the Family Stone, and others. They focused on lyrics that brought out compassion, hope, and solidarity. She reports that the males participated the most in sharing their feelings and experiences with the help of music, which led to the males “wearing their feelings on the outside.”

Traditional Enemies Working Together Was a Shock to the Students [0:45]

They brought in leaders from the Muslim and from the Jewish community to offer an intro to Islam and Judaism through the lens of compassion. She reports that kids could not believe that so called “enemies” were standing next to each other in solidarity and sharing the importance of compassion. Lia said “These kids who are around a lot of gang violence,  they could not wrap their head around a muslim and a jew standing next to each other peacefully and in solidarity, and with such kinship… it just threw the kids off.”

Educating Oneself as a Form of Self-Compassion [0:14]

In the school there is a group called the 9+. These are youth that have to repeat the ninth-grade sometimes multiple times. They brought in former 9+ students who went on to complete high school and even graduate college. The 9+ graduates advised the students that completing high school and going to college was a form of self-compassion.

Dealing with Bullying by Understanding Others as Coming from a Place of Pain [1:11]

Another speaker shared the importance of having compassion for others.  They spoke about when people come at you with anger and hostility to take a pause and understand that they are hurting and “coming from a place of pain”. To learn this, they explained, you can better cope with confrontation and bullying by not personalizing it.

Why the Compassion Games are so Meaningful to Lia [0:23]

Lia stated that “[The Games] put you in a whole other zone when compassion is at the forefront of your head and you’re trying to hold integrity to the mission and you’re really looking at your actions and your words, and, you know, it’s just powerful.” These are great examples of how a community can use the Compassion Games to ignite engagement through competitive altruism, strengthen and bring out what’s already present and working, create an engaging environment for reporting and reflecting, and using the point system as a framework for measuring and building collective capacity.

The Best Measure that the Compassion Games made a Lasting Impact [1:31]

Lia talks about challenges to bringing compassion into a difficult environment. One of the clearest signs that the Compassion Games made a huge difference at the high school was in the following year. Even though the students who organized the Games were no longer at the school, the school hosted the Compassion Games again and plan to continue in the future.  Thank you Lia for being such a Champion of Compassion!

Listen to her complete talk here:

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Love Remembers Day Coopetition – Compassion For Anaphylaxis

Worldwide “Love Remembers Day” is hosting a Compassion Games Coopetition from March 19th – 27th to honor lives lost to Food Induced Anaphylaxis.

Flowers for Anaphylaxis, a volunteer grassroots organization that offers condolences to families that have lost loved ones due to food-induced anaphylaxis, is organizing the third annual worldwide Love Remembers Day from March 19 – 27, 2016.Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 5.28.12 PM

Aleasa Word, CLC, CEC, founder of the program, and an advocate and educator in the food-allergy community, notes that “when loved ones are lost as a result of food allergies, it’s not fair that they become newsworthy one day and forgotten the next.”

Our Leadership Team at Compassion Games International is inspired by Aleasa’s efforts to honor the lives of those lost to anaphylaxis while amplifying a grassroots movement through the spirit of compassionate action.

We decided it was time to learn more from her about the compassion she has already spread all around the United States, Mexico, and Canada. We had the honor to interview her as she was preparing to bring this Coopetition to the world through the Compassion Games platform. We asked her a few questions about Love Remembers Day.

What inspired you to start “Love Remembers Day”?

It all started when she conceived her daughter in 2004. The first year of her life was filled with days of her baby being sick. After transitioning her daughter to cow’s milk she soon discovered her daughter at only 1 year of age  had a diagnosis of 13 different
allergies. This began to open her eyes and heart to a major problem for many families across the country. Soon after this she started a support group for families with similar allergy challenges she was having with her daughter. She has always been passionate about supporting marginalized parts of communities.

There are 15 million people that have food allergies in the US and 6 million of them are children. There are about 300 – 600 ofScreen Shot 2016-03-18 at 5.28.32 PMthese people yearly that are losing their lives because of allergic reactions. Food allergy Epinephrine medication on average costs $400-$600 for two injectors. There are many states that have ambulances, prisons, nurses stations in schools, and colleges that do not have epinephrine accessible to individuals with emergency reactions. As she realized this reality she eventually started Love Remembers Day with her daughter in 2014. She wanted to honor lives that have been lost because of food allergies. Now in 2016 she has grown this movement from locally in Delaware to many communities in US, Mexico, and Canada. Her daughter makes bracelets of honor and they send cards to families where a precious life was taken. “We have to do more than this. We can’t continue to just talk about it. I must actually talk to families with these issues.”

The theme for 2016 is “Compassion for Anaphylaxis” and that is what prompted the collaboration  with the Compassion Games. Since  launching this Compassion Games Coopetition,  she has confirmed teams from as far away as Dubai getting involved!

What are some of the ways that teams are getting involved?

The symbolic color for food allergy awareness is teal. One way for communities to participate in the Coopetition is  to “Ignite The Night” and have teal colored lights and candles lit at night to honor the lives that have been lost.  

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 5.28.27 PMThere are also teams in communities that are building a list of compassionate doctors. These doctors care about food allergy awareness and want to take a stand for better regulations and laws.

There are children 12- 15 years old organizing kindness team efforts in healthy competition for the most compassionate impact points.  Kindness activities might include  writing letters to people that have lost loved ones through food allergies, wearing teal bracelets,  making a teal kindness chain at school, and giving a anaphylaxis medication coupon to a family in need.

How is the Compassion Games helping “Love Remembers Day”?

The spirit of Compassion Games brings positive energy, kindness, and hope to the movement . We want people that have loved Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 5.28.18 PMones that have died to remember the good times and increase kindness in action. This is an example of taking the experience of grief and sadness and channeling that energy into making a positive impact and helpful change.  We want to help families that are dealing with food allergy challenges to know they are not alone. There are resources being made available to teams and sub teams and by focusing on this challenge together we are combining our stories and amplifying compassion at a global level.

Do you have any awards and incentives for teams to win the Compassion Games?

No matter what happens, everyone wins by participating. Love Remembers Day will be  two special awards at the end of the Coopetition;  The Trailblazer Award & The Legacy Award.

If you are interested in being a team for this “Love Remembers Day” Coopetition check out Aleasa Word’s website here! Also you can find their active Facebook page and Twitter handle here too!

Being Human Ain’t Easy: Unexpected Lessons from His Holiness the 17th Karmapa

We surely can’t complain about the mystery and thrill of being alive. Yet, regardless of one’s walk of life, it just isn’t easy being human.

downloadLike the tilted spinning of the Earth traveling through the Milky Way, having balance in one moment does not necessarily mean we will have it in the next. Life is messy. We are each challenged by the struggles of maintaining harmony in our relationships, by the incessant demand of finances and making a living, and of nurturing the physical and mental health of ourselves and those we love. We each desire meaning, belonging, and purpose in our lives.

These challenges in life, in their various forms and magnitudes, are a given. It is how we respond – not react – to life’s challenges that truly matter, transmuting them into all the more reason to love harder and be more compassionate toward others and toward ourselves, knowing we all suffer in one way or another.

Unfortunately, this is far easier to say and know than to do.Karmapa Image

Which is perhaps why thousands of people flocked like weary birds to Seattle Center on May 9th, to receive a drink of the cool, spring water that is the presence and teachings of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje. He is, after all, a shining example of compassion and love in a tumultuous world.

What we got, however, was something far different than expected. Something, I believe, that was far better.

First of all, His Holiness had a cold, leaving him visibly and admittedly drained. To top this off, Seattle was the last stop on his journey of events over the course of two months, which was extremely exhausting in itself.

Buddha or not, I thought, the Karmapa is human. This lesson, which had only just begun, was the greatest gift he could have given us. Here was a moment for us to have deep compassion for him. Curiously and unexpectedly, it wasn’t the last.

After forty-five minutes of his teachings about compassion from the Kagyu Buddhist tradition, a young panel of change-makers sat on stage with the Karmapa and asked him, each in turn, some very difficult questions.

One such question was from Jennifer Hotes, a young woman activist from a nonprofit called Love City Love which creates open spaces for artists to create art in community for one another for the sake of joy. She asked him:

“How do we have fun without using it as a way to escape from the suffering in the world, as a way to remind ourselves of the positive things in life?” She paused, almost forgetting to ask him the next part of her question with a sheepish but twinkling smile on her face. “And also, what do you do to have fun?”

The moderator quickly finished translating her question with a smile himself, and the Karmapa’s eyebrows went up in surprise. He put his hand to his chin in deep thought. He was, as clear as day, stumped! The audience laughed with him. To our surprise, here is some of what he said:

“It’s important in life, to not take things so seriously all the time. It’s important to remember to enjoy life to celebrate the good things… I remember when I was a young boy, my family would celebrate Losar, the Lunar New Year of Tibet. I remember that I would get so excited the day before that my siblings and I couldn’t sleep… We still honor Losar, but now I must follow set itineraries, the day is full of ceremony and ritual that I must fulfill. Sometimes I wish I could just lay in bed and sleep through it… As for what I do for fun now, I don’t know. I’ll have to give this more thought.”

As the last words of this were translated, the Karmapa unexpectedly began to speak again, which was translated to us once more:

“I really enjoy music and the arts. When I have time, I like to paint and make music. The arts are very important. That is all I have to say on the matter.”

It was an astonishing revelation, I think, for all of us. Quite simply, the Karmapa didn’t experience much of what it was like to simply play, to have fun.

This appears to be a common issue for everyday people and change-makers alike. We often feel guilty regarding the moments of joy in our lives when we know there is so much suffering in the world. Yet, play is an essential human need that allows us to connect with one another, building authentic relationships that can lead to sustainable action rooted in compassion. When we don’t take time to honor what is good and beautiful in life, we burn out. We lose our sense of wholeness. We actually become less effective at making positive change happen.

It is actually this concern that lead to us being invited to the event with the Karmapa at Seattle Center, to represent the CompassionCompassion Games Updated Logo for Shift Network Games and teach attendees about it. The Compassion Games are a social tool designed to ignite, amplify, and catalyze compassionate action in communities around the world. By infusing the power of playfulness and compassion with the fun of friendly competition, the Games offer a unique way to strive together to serve each other, our own personal well-being, and the Earth.

Experiencing the challenges that nonprofits face with finding financial support to grow and scale, the struggle can sometimes lead us to doubt the importance of play and the idea that you can use play to build the capacity of communities to be more compassionate. As we are currently fundraising to expand the Games to respond to a growing demand, this weighed heavily on our team’s hearts that evening.

Yet, once we began to speak with people about the Games, most people went from curiosity or confusion to an understanding grin on their face. “Team Seattle needs your help!” we would say humorously with feigned exacerbation. “The Mayor of Louisville said they were the most compassionate city in the world and would be so until kindliving1-300x245proven otherwise! In fact, he said they were so compassionate they would come here and help us beat them!” At that point, most people usually laughed and wanted to learn more. Obviously, no one can lose the Compassion Games, though they seem to tap into an innate human desire to want to play together, to do the heavy lifting in the world with a lighter heart. By doing so, the Games can help raise the capacity of compassion in our lives and our communities in ways we otherwise wouldn’t feel inspired, or believe were possible, to do.

This may be why the Compassion Games worked so well in a women’s prison, where for the first time ever there were eleven days of no violence while the Games were played. Or why they are so excitingly received in educational settings, where children can “cooperate to compete” to make their schools safer and warmer places to learn, and to experience compassion first hand.

We were feeling quite relieved about the reception of the Compassion Games at the Karmapa’s event, but then it happened: one of the change-makers of the panel on-stage, a young lady named Rekeda Roundtree from Roots of Empathy, asked another challenging question:

“It seems that competition is at the root of many social ills that we as a society face today. Can you tell us how competition creates barriers between people, how it is a separation that prevents us from connecting compassionately together to collaborate and make change?”

kl-stargirl02i-fish0814As an organization that aimed to use friendly competition as a kind of “culture hack” to get people excited about making a difference (the latin root for competition – “competere” – means “to strive together”), this question made our hearts skip a beat. Our team looked at each other with playfully worried smiles, holding our breath as we anticipated what would come next. Depending on his answer, we would either proudly stay, or try to make a break for it before mobs of outraged compassion-seekers descended on us.

The moderator asked if it was okay to inverse the question. He asked, “So, can I ask the Karmapa if fishastroheartpplcompetition can be used in a way that is positive, as a way to make positive social change?” The young woman, once again, reiterated her original question regarding competition’s more negative side, how it enhances social ills rather than alleviates them.

Here is what the Karmapa said:

“Competition is very pervasive in the world today, connected to many of the activities that lead to problems. Even when people are not engaged in competition – competition with distinct victors or those who are defeated – people may bring the energy of competition to their everyday lives, like in an argument and the need to be right at the expense of others. But, I think competition can have a positive aspect to it as well. Competition can be used as a motivator to better oneself, not to beat others but to compete with oneself to become more compassionate. In this way competition can be used to make oneself stand out, but in a positive way.”

All at once, we let our breaths out in a sigh of relief and laughed; there wouldn’t be any compassion mobs coming for us today. As it turns out, even the Karmapa believed that friendly competition could be used as a social force for good.

Once, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama said this when asked a similar question:

“Competition used to put others down: not good. Competition used to bring everybody up: that is very good.”

We were grateful that His Holiness the 17th Karmapa shared with us his down-to-earth human side. It allowed us, I believe, to see ourselves in him, not as an idol or state of perfection that we are not, but as a person like the rest of us. It made room for greater compassion toward ourselves in our own hardships, mishaps, and imperfections. Life is full of them, that’s for certain, but it’s easier to know that we are in them together, that even our suffering profoundly connects us all.

As for play and having fun: may we all enjoy the gifts that life has to offer us more often, not as an escape, but as a celebration to rejuvenate our spirits. And may the Compassion Games touch countless more lives by reminding us how to change the world by having fun, by reminding us of the child within us all.

We each desire to see the world become a more kind, safe, and loving place. It is much more rewarding when we do this together.

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Story Written by Compassion Games Storyteller Joey Crotty
with support from Compassion Games Team Members Lesa Walker, Sande Hart, and Jon Ramer

The Power of Love and Compassion to Stop the Violence and Start the Healing

Baltimore’s riots this 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.  We seem to have forgotten concepts like fairness and justice as a nation. Without this moral compass to guide us, what’s left?

As video after video surfaces of young black males being brutally treated by police, it makes us wonder if racial discrimination and police brutality can now be tolerated in our society. Empathizing with the police and continuing to ignore the root causes of these problems is all too easy. Mainstream media seems to cater to our worst fears and instincts by amplifying the inexcusable behavior of a few.

From the New York Times:

The Rev. Jamal Bryant, delivering the eulogy of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, spoke of the plight of poor, young black men like Mr. Gray, living “confined to a box” made up of poor education, lack of job opportunities and racial stereotypes — “the box of thinking all black men are thugs and athletes and rappers.”

“He had to have been asking himself: ‘What am I going to do with my life?’” Mr. Bryant said. “He had to feel at age 25 like the walls were closing in on him.”

As his voice rose to a shout, and the cheering congregation rose to its feet, Mr. Bryant said that black people must take control of their lives and force the police and government to change.

“This is not the time for us as a people to be sitting on a corner drinking malt liquor. This is not the time for us to be playing lottery,” he said.

“Get your black self up and change this city,” he said. “I don’t know how you can be black in America and be silent. With everything we’ve been through, ain’t no way in the world you can sit here and be silent in the face of injustice.”

What a powerful call to justice. However, it isn’t just a call to African-Americans. If we see ourselves as one multi-cultural society we need a collective action that will lead to effective change. What is society’s role in providing a way out of the poverty, hopelessness and despair that these young men seem to be stuck in?

The pathway out used to be as simple as getting a good education and hard work that might ultimately earn you a fair shot at the American dream. But with the rise in the cost of education and the lack of decent paying jobs, this no longer seems like a winning strategy.  We need to do better as a society, even if it’s CG16-0015-fish (1)more difficult. We need to relearn how to respect our differences and work together: to address these challenges with effective policies, solutions, and on the ground actions that change lives.

The Power of Compassion and Our Interrelatedness

According to Navajo Medicine Woman Patricia Anne Davis,  “the word ‘compassion’ can best be translated into English using the word ‘proxy’, meaning that another person can experience another person’s experience because we are all related by our inherent divinity given to each person equally. It is an all-inclusive experience where there is unity in the natural order and everyone is interconnected.”

We are interconnected to the youth and to the police. Can we find compassion for the police officers who are upholding the law and for the black youth who have the cards unfairly stacked against them?

The challenges we face are personal and spiritual as well as economic, cultural and political. Compassionate action can build this bridge. The role of compassion is not only vital in our lives, it is a key to understanding the circumstances of every perspective and finding a way forward that is just and can heal the rifts in our communities.

In Detroit, Michigan a team called #MetroDetroit participated in the Compassion Games “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” Coopetition from April 18 through April 26.

We recently wrote a news post about the organizer of the team Reverend Jim Lee of Renaissance Unity Church titled “Love The Hell Out of Metro Detroit: From the Blame – Shame Game to the Compassion Games.

metrodetroit2Lee is “rewiring the cellular memory to a place of forgiveness so his city can thrive – so the beloved community can emerge.” Rev. Lee wants to be very clear, “Forgiveness is not about forgetting the past. It doesn’t change what happened. What changes is the interpretation and perception with a new quality, a new tone can emerge to heal us today, so we can move on to the beloved community.”

Lee believes that his community can revitalize and empower itself by bringing the power of love and compassion to bear on their everyday life. Lee says he wants to “Love our way through the pain. Let’s make the pain the lesson, not the reason.”

The #MetroDetroit team committed to participate in the Love This Place! Story Mapping challenge and set out to identify many of the places in Detroit that they cherish and love. The goal was to heighten appreciation of their physical environment, their sense of social cohesion, and their experience of safety and peace within their neighborhoods.

We are happy to report that team #MetroDetroit posted more photo stories than any other city in the world!  Congratulations #MetroDetroit!  You can see all the story photos here.metrodetroit3

We can learn so much from this remarkable team and their accomplishments. We can come together to make just and lasting change by building cultures of compassion and kindness. There are over 300 cities around the world that have embarked on compassionate city campaigns. As people of this remarkable time – filled with great challenges and surprising opportunities – what do we choose?

The Compassion Games supports communities committed to creating cultures that are safer, kinder, and better places to live. You can find out more here www.compassiongames.org Game on!

 

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

 

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

Love The Hell Out of Metro Detroit: From the Blame-Shame Game to the Compassion Games

In the early sixties, in the thick of the Civil Rights movement, at the Voters Rights office in Alabama, Andrew Young was about to step outside into the parking lot to meet members of the Ku Klux Klan.  Mr. Young, appointed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to head the voters rights effort, and has since gone on to become Mayor of Atlanta, US Congressman, and Ambassador to the United Nations, received a call thatkl-stargirl02i-fish0814the KKK were coming and that he might want to carry a gun. As he headed out the door to the ever so haunting image of men in white hoods, he went to pick up his gun, but his wife insisted he put it back in the desk drawer. She told him, ever so firmly, that he was to “Go Out There And Love The Hell Out of Them!”, and that’s just what he did. The KKK left peacefully that night. Andrew Young later wrote the Voters Rights Act that was passed in 1964.

While the Civil Rights Act has been passed and is now part of history, the cellular memory of fear, hatred and distrust is still as prevalent and unhealed in too many places in our great country today. “It’s as old as slavery” says Reverend Jim Lee, Sr. Minister of Renaissance Unity Church in Warren, Michigan in the Metro Detroit area. Every time a white policeman kills another black victim it keeps striking at the same nerve. Not that the act is not severe enough on it’s own volition, it’s just a matter of time before these nerves are going to erupt and lead to riots like those that have burnt cities to the ground in the past. Just one more strike at that nerve is enough to remove the thin veil covering the deep rage that we all know is there and bubbling to a boil, felt by people of all races, religion and culture.

Rev. Lee is responding to these mounting tensions in his community and feels strongly that the Compassion Games is the antidote to healing this burden that has plagued his community since the beginning of our country’s history, resurfacing again and again through time. He is determined to Love The Hell out of his community by “rewiring the cellular memory to a place of forgiveness so his city can thrive – so the beloved community can emerge.” Rev. Lee wants to be very clear, “Forgiveness is not about Little Onesforgetting the past. It doesn’t change what happened. What changes is the interpretation and perception with a new quality, a new tone can emerge to heal us today, so we can move on to the beloved community.” Rev. Lee says he wants to “Love our way thru the pain. Let’s make the pain the lesson, not the reason.”

The Love This Place! Story Mapping challenge is a perfect opportunity to help Metro-Detroit start seeing their community through the lens of the places that they Love. They have set a goal of 1,000 people identifying the places they love in the Metro-Detroit area and posting a photo and a description of why they Love This Place.  They might take a picture of the park bench, the 100 year old tree they pass each day, the corner market, or a historic building. When we start looking around our community for the things we love, we find so much more to love than we had ever realized. We become reprogrammed in that moment to be more loving toward ourselves. We will never look at that tree the same without recalling that love.

Rev. Lee knows we don’t have a single leader for this time of historic tension uprising like we have had in the past. He reminds us this only means it’s our time to step into our own power, into our own courage, into our own light and compassion, and he says, “if we don’t change we are just staying in the blame-shame
game. It’s time to move beyond that and it’s each of us alone that we have been waiting for, together.”

We may not have one single leader, but Reverend Lee is an exceptional model of what one person can do and he inspires us to rise to this challenge.  The Compassion Games are all about challenging ourselves and others to stretch our compassion muscles just a little bit further, deeper and higher through what natureCG16-0015-fish (1)gave us; the gift of life coupled with choice. The Games remind us to choose how we respond when our deepest instinct to protect ourselves, our families, our communities, and all that we consider sacred is threatened. Gone are the days when we let fear rule us, when we demonize others, or we wait for someone else to change. Here are the days where we can Love away the fear, distrust and threat… Reverend Lee is is here to lead us to  “Love our way through the pain to healing.”

 

Solving Wicked Problems with the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest

(Header Image: “New Pioneers” from Mark Hensen)

At a time when religiously motivated violence seems to be more horrific and terrifying than ever, what would it take to transition our world to one of interfaith harmony and peace? It may seem pollyanna to wonder and idealistic to even ask if such a thing is possible. In a world permeated with intolerance and acts of hatred in the name of religion, how could we come to be in peace and harmony with one another? What would that take? A 21st century messiah? Divine intervention? Or a radical and creative shift of consciousness that playfully engages the full participation of the human species?

Social scientists consider this kind of problem a “wicked problem.” A wicked problem is one in which everyone agrees there is an issue, yet different stakeholders cannot agree on a definition of the problem or a course for a solution. This is because stakeholding groups in a wicked problem have radically different worldviews and thus different ways of understanding the problem and approaching a solution. World interfaith disharmony is truly such a wicked problem that can have horrific outcomes.

So how can we get to a world of interfaith harmony? Wicked problems can be “solved” by authoritative brute force, eliminating opposing perspectives and leaving power in the hands of a few. They can be “solved” through competition, leaving various parties to duke it out with a clear winner and loser. Or, they can be solved through collaboration, where all parties are brought to the table simultaneously, a common humanity is revealed, and overlaps in worldviews and values are discovered.

This is the very purpose of the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest. The Compassion Games awaken us to the power we each have as “players” to choose to play the “game” of life differently with each other and ourselves. As they say, “life games reflect life aims.”

We are living in a time of an emerging global world, where an essential interdependence and growing interconnectivities are Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 1.19.15 PMliterally changing the “rules of the game” of how our world operates. The rules of the game have gone from finite, win-lose zero sum games (which, like war, are really lose-lose games) to nonzero sum games where we either all lose or we all win. Economic interdependence, terrorism, cyber-security, contagious disease control, climate change, and violence in the name of religion are just a handful of the major “nonzero” challenges that we now face, and each of them span any human-made borders that once artificially confined us as if we were fundamentally different, or separate, from our neighbors around the world.

Can we arise to this global challenge and unprecedented moment to work together, and make collaboration and compassion the objective of the game?

Since we all have a stake in the outcome of how the game is played in our global world, each player in this new game is immeasurably valuable. A vital component and often overlooked dimension to this unfolding “global village” is the role of the individual in arising to meet the challenges of these new circumstances. It is easy for individuals to feel less significant in a coalescing sea of 7+ billion people (as if more people make each of our thoughts, concerns, and actions matter less). This feeling is amplified even more so with looming challenges that are so macro in scale and difficult to conceive. These feelings, although understandable, couldn’t be more far from the truth.

Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 2.12.47 PMThis is because in order to fundamentally solve the wicked problem of interfaith disharmony, we have to change the way we relate to each other, and this takes individual personal change and participation with others at a profound level. The collective cultural maturity required of us at this time calls for, in fact, the deepest kind of change: the change that comes from within. So in order for us to change collectively, it is each of us that needs to change personally. This is often more challenging, yet sometimes surprisingly easier and more profound than we can ever imagine. There is a power that each of us has in which we can choose to change the game we are playing, because we are playing one whether or not we are even aware of it. In this regard, we can define a game as engaging in any life activity directed toward bringing about a certain state of affairs.

Compassion is an infinite game in which the purpose of the game is to continue to play. Collaboration, too, is a game that defies physical laws, where one plus one can equal ten, and the more people that play, the more can win.

We know that some people think that playing games are frivolous and not an activity worthy of something as significant and important as interfaith harmony. The idea of competing to do good – competitive altruism – seems to go against the very idea of being thoughtful and kind toward others.

Yet the original latin root for the word competition is “to strive together,” not, as it is defined today, “to strive against.” Perhaps we need to redefine what we mean by the terms “games”, “play”, “player”, and “competition”. Reframing these ideas may be a key to unlocking the creativity and inspiration that it takes to rise together and reach new heights of radical creativity, cultural maturity, and just, lasting change. The Compassion Games compel and catalyze us to strive together as “players” to change the “games” we play on planet earth to the kinds that make life better for others, ourselves, and the earth.

You may be asking: “Really? What about all the conflict and contradictions in our ways of life?”

There are tremendous differences in our nationalities, cultures, and values, of course. For there to be peace amongst us we will have to coexist in a way that deeply respects our differences and honors our unique histories, cultures, backgrounds and nationalities.

For there to be harmony we will have to learn to interact and create value together. We will find common ground in our cultural differences and we will offer support and help while learning from each other. We will have a shared sense of fulfilling some greater purpose while recognizing that we are interdependent and need each other, now more than ever.

Fortunately for all of us, the case being made that “playing compassionate games with one another from all different backgrounds can radically and creatively change the world” doesn’t have to end here in words, as a spirited and hopeful ideal. Why? Because it just happened! With World Interfaith Harmony Week having just come to a close, the results are in… and what took place is simply astounding.

Who is Leading the Way?

It is interesting to note that King Abdullah II of Jordan, who has been seen recently in the US press as a strong leader taking on ISIS (the Islamic State), was greeted with cheers on returning home early from his trip to the US to conduct swift executions of two terrorist prisoners in retaliation for ISIS killing a Jordanian pilot. The cultural call in Jordan for vengeance was great and the King was in tune with his people. While some international human rights groups may have preferred that there have not been executions, the human rights groups also recognized that the executions were within Jordanian law and important to the people. It is these cultural differences we need to better appreciate and understand. Screen Shot 2015-02-18 at 2.35.30 PM

For at the same time that King Abdullah II is a “strong man” he is also dedicated to interfaith peace and harmony. Compassion
Games International (CGI) is well aware of this since in partnership with King Abdullah’s office we have just completed a seven day “coopetition” – a collaboration in which we cooperate to compete (or strive) with each other and not against each other by challenging groups from all over the world to show us their compassion in the name of interfaith peace and harmony.

From February 1st through the 7th, the Compassion Games were organized in partnership with the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. King Abdullah II offered a $50,000 prize to be shared by groups working to create interfaith peace and harmony in the world.

This year the partners included the Dalai Lama Fellows as well as the United Religions Initiative (URI). URI hosted an online webinar for the occasion, calling out to over 670 cooperation circles that reach over one million people, inviting them to play.  URI also sponsored two University of Rochester students to attend the United Nations and speak about the Compassion Games. First Nations Solar put out the Solar Challenge for faith and interfaith groups to “Sun-Up” their houses of worship and embark on solarizing campaigns to shift to clean and renewable energy as an act of “green compassion” for Mother Earth.

The players and teams that participated came from all over the world including Asia, Africa, North America, Europe, and the Middle East. In the United States, the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council challenged other interfaith councils around the world and posted the greatest number of reports in an impressive display of what is possible when we come together to play, collaborate, and challenge one another to be the very best of our human nature.

Compassion Report Map Reflections from World Interfaith Harmony Week

There were over 30 teams around the world that posted nearly 100 reports to the Compassion Report Map. You can view all the reports by visiting the map here.

Here are four stories, each strikingly different yet equally profound, that are examples of what individual players and teams did during the Interfaith Harmony Week coopetition:

Report #1: Students Meet Muslims for the First Time (View Report)

The University of Rochester Interfaith Chapel student group hosted a tour of the Interfaith Chapel during World Interfaith Harmony Week. For 14 out of 15 of the students, this was the first time they had ever visited a mosque or even spoke to a Muslim. They observed prayer, toured the center, and engaged in dialogue with the Interfaith Chapel youth group. These students had a chance to learn about Islam and to meet and interact with local Muslim youth, opening their eyes to the realities of life for Muslim citizens in this difficult time in our world’s history.

Report #2: Nourish the Soul at the Souper Bowl (View Report)

World Interfaith Harmony Week began on Sunday, February 1st, which happened to be the same day as the Super Bowl. In aCompassion Games Souper Bowl - 2015 creative twist to kick-off Harmony Week and heighten our capacity for interfaith good, the Center for Spiritual Living in Seattle challenged the country in a Souper Bowl as a way to fill the food banks and take care of our neighbors in a time of need. Not surprisingly, the Center for Spiritual Living really stepped up… collecting well over 4,500 cans of soup in one week and raising $1,300 for local causes.

Report #3: 15,000+ People Served by Multifaith Day of Service (View Report)

The Peninsula Multifaith Day of Service dispatched more than 525 volunteers, ages 5 through 85, to a dozen sites through their region to work on 20 different projects. Pacifica Institute, who submitted this report on behalf of the Day of Service, joined the efforts with 30 volunteers of their own who also helped prepare breakfast for the 525+ volunteers. Over 15,000 people were directly affected by the actions of this awe-inspiring interfaith task force.

Report #4: Profound Reflection on Interfaith Harmony at Unity Celebration (View Report)

A report from an individual of the Interfaith Works and Women Transcending Boundaries team inspires us deeply. The report states that a “kaleidoscope” of virtually every faith joined together in unity, song, dance, and prayer, all to express their commonality within diversity. In their midst were refugees from Bosnia and Sudan who had lost everything – their homes, their families – when religious conflict tore their country apart.

From the Compassion Report Map: “When the Sudanese reminded us that churches helped them build new lives, that their history is one with the history of InterFaith Works, I thought, ‘humanity has committed some of its worst crimes in the name of religion, but religion is also capable of giving and restoring life.’ Indeed I have never experienced more compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness in one space…

“[Holding hands] as we sang… I felt myself a member of a new human community, one pregnant with possibilities, possibilities which have always been present in the highest values of our various traditions. This community, bound together not by language, not by race or creed, but by a powerful sense of hope and joy, came away from the WIHW knowing that – when it honors and accepts differences, when it forgives past injustices, but more importantly when it gathers together to celebrate all these things – religion’s long history of strife is transformed into a source of healing for the nations. Indeed, WIHW stands as an event that I dare say the critics of religion cannot pass off ‘as something that just happened’…”

Many Ways to Play and Harmonize

Between CGI and WIHW there were over 800 events and activities that took place during the seven day challenge and there were many different ways to play. These included:

  • An Interfaith Edition of the Secret Agent of Compassion that sent out missions each day of the coopetition.
  • As part of this years harmony week the WIHW produced the first interfaith anthem “The Gift of Love”. The lyrics are by HRH Prince Ghazi and the music and vocals by world renowned recording artist Mr. Sami Yusuf.  http://youtu.be/LHFuyK65Etg

Scoreboard Results from World Interfaith Harmony Week

During the coopetition we maintain a scoreboard so we can see the progress we are collectively making. The point of the game is not to “beat others” but to challenge ourselves to do and be our very best. Over 30 teams around the world submitted nearly 100 reports showing that well over 50,000 people were served through the Compassion Games in this seven day coopetition. This is just what got reported, and most players don’t report. No one will know for sure the impact of all this interfaith kindness and caring that was unleashed, and continues to be unleashed, on our precious world.

However, the experience of coordinating the Compassion Games World Interfaith Harmony Week has reassured us that the wicked problems of our time can be solved by transforming the game of life we play and reinventing what it means to live in peace and harmony together on our beautiful planet.

The Compassion Games are a way for anyone, anywhere, at anytime to amplify existing efforts or mobilize new ones. The Compassion Games infuse the spirit of play, collaboration, and kindness to bring people together of diverse backgrounds to address some of the worlds greatest challenges and most wicked problems.

We invite you to join with us by participating in the Compassion Games. The next coopetition – “Earth Service Week” – will take place from April 18th through April 26th, the same week that U.S. Mayors are challenging each other in the Give-A-Day of service, the brainchild of Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville. The Back-To-School Coopetition takes place in October to bring the profound benefits of compassion to students in educational settings and in their personal lives. The annual global Compassion Games take place from September 11th through the 21st, the International Day of Peace.

Will you play with us? Game on!

Solving Wicked Problems with the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest
A Collaborative Work of the Compassion Games Team
Lead Author: Jon Ramer | Founder & “First Follower”
Contributing Author, Editor: Joey Crotty | Communications and Campaign Organizer
Review by Sande Hart (Head Coach) and Sommer Albertson (Coordinator of the Women/Girls League)
 

Compassion Games Quote