Stories for Leagues – Page 2

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

An Interfaith Pep Talk to Overcome the Impossible

A Rallying Call for World Interfaith Harmony

It’s well-known that for untold eons, human beings have fought each other in the name of their God or gods. But there is more to this story… As historian and TED Prize Winner Karen Armstrong points out, wars are and have always been political and economic in nature, used to gain land, resources, and power. Why, then, do people tend to blame religion for wars? Armstrong writes that religious ideologies were often reshaped by political and economic needs, and that “religious fervor” – often a unifying cultural and communal force – has been manipulated and used as propaganda to influence citizens to fight for their people, nation, and of course, God or gods.

So religion has become, for many, the source of world trouble, the world’s scapegoat. In other words, spirit has been given a bad rap and many believe we’d be better off without it. As a result, religion and spirituality may be the very last place people expect a beacon of global peace to emerge. And it is for this very reason that it must be the place for a global beacon of peace to emerge.

010b-fishapril14Because at its best, spirituality is anything but economic or political. At the heart of the world’s wisdom traditions lie a message of acceptance, love, and service, the very countercurrent of war and violence. Spirit has been hijacked. It has become the underdog in the story of our time.

However, we too often underestimate the position of power an underdog is in.

Underdogs are scrappy. They are desperate, and willing to do anything to overcome the seemingly impossible. The apparent kl-stargirl02i-fish0814weakness of our position is the very source of our strength. It is this beautiful desperation that is going to compel us to do something unexpected. Something wonderfully crazy. Something brilliant.

Because it has already been ruled out that people of different faiths are capable of coming together to change the tides of the world’s violence and exclusivity to one of peace and unity, we have everything to lose and even more to gain. The world needs interfaith harmony. It longs for it but denies its possibility. That is why it must be done.

World Interfaith Harmony Week is coming up on February 1st and goes until February 7th.

The Purpose of World Interfaith Harmony Week is to…

1. Celebrate and make known the strong undercurrent of interfaith work already happening in the world, and to bring attention to this remarkable work so its positive momentum can continue to inspire and grow;

2. Amplify existing efforts and create new initiatives to further the reach of the interfaith movement, and to raise a broader awareness in the world’s communities that interfaith unity is possible. In addition, we want to ignite a sense of urgency for the need of this movement more now than ever;

3. Encourage faith communities around the world to reach out to their neighbors of different faiths in order to create new relationships of respect, understanding, and collaboration to expand the reach of the interfaith movement throughout the world.

 Do you long to see an unprecedented current of peace, understanding, and collaboration take hold of our world?

Play with us! Join World Interfaith Harmony Week to add your voice, energy, and heart to this movement that has never been more needed.


Learn more about how to get involved in the Interfaith Harmony Week Coopetition here!




Every once in awhile, we hear a story about overcoming hopelessly improbable odds. That next story is going to be us. We can’t play by the old rules of the game. We have to play by our own rules, we have to change them. We have to make the game utterly unrecognizable, unplayable to the ways of ignorance, otherness, and complacency.

Let’s make the game Compassion.
Love Wins!

Compassion Games International
& Our “Partners in Compassion”
17 Compassion Games Partners for Interfaith

3.7 Million March: An Urgent Call to Rally for Unity & Peace

Dear Friends and Allies of Compassion,

The world is stirring. Every now and then an event occurs that shocks us, and with it appears an opening for something new to Paris Ralliesemerge. Right now, we are at such a moment. The 3.7 million people who marched in the streets of France – who locked arms with our world’s
leaders – are what French officials are saying was the largest street demonstration in the country’s history. And they weren’t protesting the attacks they were rallying for unity.

“I’m fed up with all the hatred in the world. I can’t stand people hating each other. More than just free expression, I want people to live together and to accept each other, even if they are different,” said Edith Gaudin, a teacher in Paris.

More than ever we need to create and live in cultures of compassion that revolutionoftheheart7-fish0212take us outside our comfort zones, into our stretch zones, and allow us to experience empathy and compassion directly. In fact, this is what the Compassion Games were created for, and it just so happens that this year the Compassion Games is partnering with UN sponsored World Interfaith Harmony Week (WIHW) (February 1st -7th).

One of the world leaders who marched on the streets in Paris is King Abdullah II from Jordan. In 2010, the King proposed a World Interfaith Harmony Week to the UN, a week “when all interfaith groups and other groups of goodwill can show the world what a powerful movement they are.” The UN unanimously approved, and now each year the first week of February is aimed to promote harmony and collaboration between people of all faiths (and none).

kl-stargirl01a-fish0814We are partnering with faith, interfaith and Indigenous leaders to light a spark of creativity and innovation, to inspire groups around the world to get engaged and to make the good we are capable of known. This includes a seven day Compassion Games “coopetition” starting February 1st, a 10-Year Solar Challenge called for by First Nations, and $50,000 in prize money sponsored by King Abdullah II.

Let’s not retreat from this moment. Let’s lean forward, open our hearts and hands and come together in unprecedented, unified solidarity and action!


1. Learn more about the World Interfaith Harmony
Week Coopetition here

2. Read more about the WIHW Prize Monies for participating groups here

3. Spread the word! Share this story to challenge family, friends, and your communities to play in World Interfaith Harmony Week. Experience the joy of building solidarity, cooperation, and bridges of peace and harmony!

At this unique moment in time we need to clarify and reaffirm religion’s role in our lives as a beacon of hope. Religion at its best is kl-stargirl02i-fish0814a hearth for the human spirit. In its myriad of expressions, religion can help us connect with something greater than ourselves, to encourage us to reach out and to get to know the “others” in our lives. It inspires us to serve all people for the greater good that exists within and among all of us, to find love and compassion in the seemingly most improbable places, in places where once there was only hate. Yet these are the places most desperate for peace.

Let us be that peace.

In Fierce Unity and Compassion,

Compassion Games International
World Interfaith Harmony Week
URI (United Religions Initiative)
The Guibord Center
Interfaith Youth Core
Dalai Lama Fellows
Compassionate Seattle
NICO (Northwest Interfaith Community Outreach)
Silicon Valley Interreligious Council
Four Worlds International Institute
Compassionate California
I am Jerusalem
S.A.R.A.H. (Spiritual and Religious Alliance for Hope)
Scarboro Missions
First Nations Solar
Interfaith Council of Central Orange County

Interfaith League Brings Play and Wonder to World Interfaith Harmony Week

“In our broken world it is easy to become overwhelmed with grief and despair culminating in our inability to move forward. Each of us has been given a purpose in life, a reason for being. Each of us carries within a caring heart and a mind filled with ideas.

The Compassion Games beckon us to rise above our heartache and work in community to make a difference in the world…. to laugh and to play and to know within the deepest part of our souls that we are good and contributing to something larger than each of us. In it, we are called to be our best selves.”

The Reverend Dr. Gwynne Guibord 
President, The Guibord Center, Religion Inside Out

What happens when you combine the Interfaith world, comprised of grassroots interfaith organizations large and small, places of worship and interfaith leaders together with the Compassion Games? You get a lot of important work accomplished.

While we often think of interfaith work to mean breakthrough dialogues, educational programs, service to the community and all efforts that we can do better together than apart, the Compassion Games invites one more dynamic. It’s a dynamic that infuses trust and creativity, allowing curiosity to replace hesitancy and fear. It’s a place within ourselves where possibilities spring forth in our hearts in ways that can accomplish the seemingly impossible.

What we speak of is the essence of what it means to

When we play together, we come from a place of joy and wonderment. Play calls us to challenge one another to be the best versions of ourselves and of our faith, doing so in a way that is natural and nonthreatening, inviting, rewarding, and even fun.

After 15 years of interfaith community building – which includes dialogue and panel discussions, programs that honor our commonalities and celebrates our diversity, and especially an annual weekend of community service – I had never experienced more enthusiasm as when we introduced the Compassion Games to our already existing efforts.

We doubled our volunteerism overnight and 5 new faith based organizations joined us in play. People were getting wildly creative with their compassionate action, adding a multitude of smaller projects to get their point values up to push other groups to do the same. It imbued the spirit of competitive altruism, and it was working.  When the local mosque managed to raise more points than the other places of worship by about 2,000 points, they were rejoicing. In a tongue-in-cheek way they asked me, “What do we win?!” I answered, “You get to go to the synagogue next year and help the others beat you!” (This incredible attitude of helping others beat your own team was inspired by Louisville, Kentucky’s Mayor Greg Fischer who had the same answer when his city beat Seattle by a similar margin during the first year of the Compassion Games.)

The Compassion Games utilizes the best of human nature – the innate desire to learn, to play, to be loving and kind, to serve, and to connect with one another. We become inspired to push a little farther, move a little deeper, and reach a little higher as a natural result of working together in community for a common purpose and goal, and in the spirit of play.

Yet the dynamic of play accomplishes more than to provide an environment for the spontaneous arising of awe and wonder. When we are in the natural spirit of playfulness, we forget the false perceptions of separation from others that we so often hold in our thoughts. A great remembering takes place as well, as we remember who we truly are. We reawaken within our own hearts that we are One Human Family. We remember that we need one another to be the best versions of ourselves and the best examples of each of our unique faith and non-faith traditions.

Along the way, a lot of important work gets done. We call it “heavy lifting with a light heart.”

It’s time for us to do it together! 


Compassionate Schools Play Compassion Games!

The past year of 2014 was a breakthrough year at Compassion Games International. Besides the extraordinary growth from 19 to 159 Teams in just one year, the development of the Leagues burst the gates right off any barriers of limitations that we could have dreamt of. And leading the way? None less than the new Education and Schools League.

Two exceptional educators stepped up to coordinate this league: Rahbin Shyne and Lia Mandelbaum. They each bring with them a vast array of skills and inspiring ideas to help schools bring the Compassion Games into their classrooms.

Long before we met Rahbin – a Compassionate activist and teacher at Reid High School in Long Beach, California – she had written a number of books on compassion, even one coincidentally entitled “Compassion Game, 10 Days of Compassion, Quick and Easy On-Line Actions to Better Our World.”  It was only a matter of time that our paths would meet! And we are eternally grateful for that.

As a seasoned educator, Rahbin brought to the Games tested and practical lesson plans and prepared the Teachers Compassion Games Guide.

photo-66It was Lia who we can credit for first showing us how possible, even critical the Compassion Games are on a school campus. Remarkably, Lia – who is also a writer for The Jewish Journal – first heard about the Games when she wrote a story about them being played in a women’s prison in California. Since she was an intern social worker at Roybal Learning Center in downtown Los Angeles at the time, she immediately identified the power of the Games and what they could bring to the culture of her campus.

She surprised herself with resounding results.

It was Lia’s Supervisor – Cherie Hudson at Roybal who embraced the concept of the games. Cherie said, “The Games are all about strengthening connections and making a positive impact on the world through acts of kindness. As a school social worker, I wholeheartedly believe in the value of human relationships and the interconnectedness of all people, so the Compassion Games felt like a perfect fit between the core values of my profession and the needs of our community for healing and safety”.

Announcements were made over the school intercom, during meetings, and in classrooms. Packets were created to explain the Games and then distributed to the teachers. Lia and Cherie wanted to be sure that not only the students played the Games but that the teachers, staff, and even the maintenance crew played too. Lia devised a clever way to engage parents as well, empowering them to “catch” their child being compassionate and sending in a “Titan Token” to be added to their team’s tally.  In this stroke of brilliance, Lia found a bridge from the campus to the home. Now, even siblings and even neighbors will benefit from the Compassion Games as compassion blooms out through their communities.

Lia also brought in speakers including the L.A. Galaxy Soccer star Omar Gonzalez. Gonzalez talked to the students about the courage it Omar_Gonzaleztakes to be compassionate, helping to motivate and inspire the young students there. Here is the link to the Time Warner Sports Spanish news segment with Omar visiting Roybal (The clip begins at 1 minute and 30 seconds!)

Omar Gonzalez visits Roybal:

As soon as the Education League was initiated we began to immediately hear from teachers, each requesting we set aside a period of play for them that was later in the year than the annual September 11th start of the Compassion Games. Considering they had just gotten back to school in September, we couldn’t help but understand the rationale behind the suggestion, and we said “Of course!” The Education and Schools League now starts its participation in the Compassion Games in October, kicking off the school year in a blaze of compassion in action.

Compassion Games Excitedly Received on Campuses in Los Angeles

Thanks to Cherie and Lia, the Compassion Games have since been embraced by the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health who have introduced us to each of the area organizers who place representatives in each school throughout the LA county. Subsequently, we been invited to present to all of the representatives themselves.  After presenting alongside Lia and Rahbin at a number of the meetings, Head Compassion Games Coach Sande Hart says, “I have introduced the Games to many groups over the past year, but never have I experienced a sense of enthusiasm as great as it’s been with educators. Heads were constantly nodding in excitement about the Games, and even tears were shed! It’s clear the Games bring a creative alternative solution infused with hope to the campus culture where it is so desperately needed today.”

Meanwhile, in Seattle, The Compassionate Schools Network was birthed

schools-networkThe emerging Compassionate School Movement is in large part led by Scarlett Lewis, founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation. Compassion Games, Charter for Compassion, and Compassionate Seattle hosted a conference in August called “Building the Compassionate Schools Movement: From Sandy Hook to Seattle,” igniting conversation and joint action to bring compassion into schools, to teach emotional wellness and whole person development, teacher and administrator interconnectivity and engagement, and to use compassion to propel students’ success for learning and life.

We are both honored and proud to be a founding member of the Compassionate Schools Network. On September 15, 2014 this new social collaborative network was launched. The Compassionate Schools Network is a free online community and resource-sharing platform for students, parents, school staff, and community members.

Click here to learn more about the Compassionate Schools Movement and Network, including co-creative ideas for bringing Compassion into the classroom, and how your school can affirm the Charter for Compassion!

Click here for the full press release of the Compassionate Schools Network launch:

North Thurston County School District Brings the Light!

558112_453974094671300_819099736_nThis year also marks the initiation of Washington State’s North Thurston County Public School District’s participation in the Compassion Games, They stand in solidarity with the emergence of the “Compassionate Schools Movement”, and they aren’t alone. Over 50 schools have committed themselves to participating in the Compassion Games as a way to bring compassion and the Golden Rule to schools through the competitive spirit of giving and cooperation.

Currency of the Heart: Coins of Compassion Introduced to Schools in Spirit of the Games

In an inspiring feat of creativity for the Games, North Thurston County – led by Compassionate Schools advocate Superintendent Raj Manhas –  formed a currency for their district called the “Coins of Compassion.” Unlike any currency you’ve ever heard of, over 20,000 of these coins have been given to principals and other leaders within the district, which are then given to anyone who commits an act of kindness or compassion. Paying it forward is the ultimate measure of economic success in a compassionate society. By the end of the Compassion Games, it is not the goal to have the most of these coins, but rather to give and receive them as much as possible. It is, effectively, a game of acknowledging others and their goodness, and in return, also being seen for the good we each give to others. Coins of Compassion are a living economy of the heart and they’re now in the hands of kids who are learning to give and receive them to and from each other.

We know the Compassion Games are changing what it means to compete, and now it’s clear a new value system of currency has emerged; and who knows where it will go?

While all leagues come together to play in the Global Games Coopetition, Schools can also play from Oct 15th to the 25th, closing on National “Make A Difference Day.” In 2015, educators will be treated to a series of conference calls with speakers and both plenty of time and resources to ensure their success in the next Education League Games. Rahbin’s goal is to see 150 Teams (classrooms, schools, or school districts) participate in the Compassion Games in 2015.

Mayor of Compassionville!


Photo credit: Michael Shumate

We first met Nashville’s Dina Capitani while in Louisville to celebrate their 1 Year Anniversary of becoming a Compassionate City. We were, simply put, in absolute awe of her spirited determination and fierce commitment to prove that Nashville was the most compassionate place on Earth.  We quickly learned not to underestimate Dina’s sweet disposition and gentle spirit; she is on a clear mission to convince everyone around her why the Compassion movement is so critically needed in her town. With her passion, people are listening and taking her vision seriously.

As the Executive Assistant with the Metro Human Relations Commission, Dina identified the Compassion Games as a strategic effort to activate key partners who can work with citizens in hands-on projects to make the community a safer, kinder, more just place to live. Compassion, she recognized, is simply good for the health of a city. This may be the reason that Forbes named Nashville the #2 City of Compassion in the US in 2012.

Championing the Compassion Games in Louisville – or should we say “Compassionville” (Compassionville is Nashville’s team name)(artwork ala artists Mark Eatherly, Massood Taj and Kathy Tupper), Dina led her city to take part in 22 events during the 11 day challenge of the Games. The Compassionville team were #1 this year in “Dollars Raised for Non-Profits,” raising an astonishing $228,876.  (You can see the fundraising project list and descriptions at

Video created by the Scarritt-Bennett Center

Dina says she is committed to changing what it means to compete, and believes that it’s the reporting that makes the Games so important. “It’s part of playing the Game, and how can everyone win if everyone doesn’t play?” She recognizes how important it is to share what has been done in the name of compassion. The reports inform others where, she says, “compassion is alive.” Dina recently told a Nashville community newspaper, “What you focus on expands, so when you focus on the good, it inspires people.”

Ms. Capitani is also quick to credit and give special thanks to Tom Negri, Deb Palmer George, The Metro Human Relations Commission and Mayor Karl Dean for supporting the Compassionate Nashville campaign!

Dina isn’t just a committed and powerful community builder; she is also a talented singer and songwriter. Even so, she was surprised that the song she had written in honor of the compassion went on to become the theme song of the Compassion Games, serving as an anthem for meetings and local events. Dina’s song has clearly captured the spirit, values and essence of the Games! (Rap lyrics written and performed by Bobby Solomon)

Listen to this incredible track below!

It’s clear that Dina is living the Compassion Games in body, mind, and creative spirit!

The Compassion Games Music Challenge

Good music is good medicine. And good medicine is a thing we need more of. That’s why we are so impressed and moved by the gift of this song. We are proud to announce that this catchy and meaningful song is this year’s anthem, and Dina’s inviting all musical compassionistas to collaborate on an album!

 If you’re an artist or a musician, we invite you to create or dedicate a song to compassion. Hip hop, reggae, folk, gospel, whatever the genre, we want to hear it, share it, and spread that musical medicine. Our intent is to compile these pieces as part of a Compassion Games album, and share it with all who strive to live and play compassionately in the world.

 We also want to thank Dina for encouraging us to add an Arts and Culture League in the few weeks leading up the Games. This opened the proverbial gates for the wonderful 6 Degrees of Creativity out of Ohio , the Compassion and Insight Center out of Boise, Idaho, and the other 9 Teams that signed up to play with compassionate so creatively with such short notice.

 We’ve learned that we can always count on Dina to identify what needs to be done in this work. She is a voice of clarity and reason, and is often the first to jump into the fray to make something happen. She’s just getting started with more ideas and contributions to come, that she hinted at with a twinkle in her eye. Until then, enjoy our new song and hold on for what more will come from the brilliant Dina Capitani and Compassionate Nashville.

(Lyrical Excerpt from Dina’s Compassion Games Theme Song)

“Those we used to call our enemies,


turn to friends through empathy.

We’ve been playing games for infinity,

now we extend compassionate energy.

We encourage healing in our circle,

turn away from actions that are hurtful.

We can help each other leap hurdles,

and it’s personal, it’s universal.

If you suffer, then we suffer,

we need sisters, we need brothers.

Abundance floods our cupboards

there’s no reason anyone should hunger.

A rope is stronger with multiple strands

so we’re going to advance

and we’re holding hands

showing compassion as our ultimate plan!”

Rap lyrics written and performed by Bobby Solomon

Silicon Valley Interreligious Council and Carry the Vision Bring the Compassion Games to Silicon Valley

We shall be a mighty kindness. – Rumi (and the Carry the Vision conference brochure)

I was invited to introduce and help launch the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest at the Carry the Vision 9th Community in Compassion Conference that took place in Silicon Valley on October 19th 2014.  It was amazing!

Carry the Vision Executive Director, Shelly Swan and her team took great care of me and all the participants who gathered that Sunday to “awaken the heart of compassion” the theme for the day.  This was the perfect opportunity to come together face-to-face after working together “virtually” to produce the 9|11 – 9|21 Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest.  Earlier we wrote this story about the emergence of Compassionate Silicon Valley and their unique approach to organizing; we called it the “spiritual element“.

I had no idea how deep, committed and far along Carry the Vision and the many partners including the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council had progressed in creating a culture of non-violence and compassion in their community.  The conference was diverse, inclusive, and with seventy youth participating in a parallel event.

Unless we change individually, no one is going to change collectively. For generations we have been waiting for the other person to change first. A change of heart cannot be legislated; it must come out of conviction. – Arun Gandhi  (and the Carry the Vision conference brochure)

Girish ShahThere’s a great Compassion Games Team emerging in the valley led by a retired IBM engineer and Recipient of the 2014 Hindu American Foundation Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Religious Pluralism, Girish Shah.  Girish is a Director of Carry the Vision, a Director of the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council and former president of the Jain Center. He is an innovator and committed to making the world a better place.

We started to work with Girish in the roll up to the 2014 Games and then the October conference. Girish quickly understood the Compassion Games, the Leagues and the idea of Coopetitions and saw their application to the tremendous work he’s already doing to unify the human family.   Girish and his family are an enormous gift to our world.  I don’t want to say more because I don’t want to embarrass him but here’s a summary of what he’s doing to use and expand the Compassion Games:

carrythevisiontwoWith his collaborators on the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council, Carry the Vision and the many others he has a tremendous Compassion Games team who no doubt appreciate his humble and focused way of making change happen.   It is an honor to work with Girish Shah and to enable the Compassion Games platform to grow and expand to accommodate his vision.  To the left is the page on the Carry the Vision site that introduces the Compassion Games.

We are enriched by his boundless energy and dedication to nonviolence, spiritual independence, equality, and compassion.

2014 Leaderboard Results!

Ta Da!! We have updated the 2014 Leaderboard with the numbers for this years games. We’ve gone through every report that was submitted for every day of the Games. Although the whole spirit of the Compassion Games is playful and fun, we take your efforts to report on your acts of compassion seriously. Of course, whoever played in the games and did or didn’t report was a winner, and with that said let’s get into the numbers.

When accountants deliver “the numbers” they usually also prepare a “note” to help explain what the numbers mean. Consider this post that kind note. If you look at the leaderboard you’ll see that the teams are grouped by leagues and sorted alphabetically. Each of the columns are reviewed below:

Team names and #hashtags

We introduced hashtags this year as a way to apply a common name across all website and social media platforms.  In the process of reviewing the reports we made our best efforts to identify reports and associate them with the teams they belong to. Everyone didn’t use the same team name or #hashtag name to refer to a particular team. We did our best to cross reference and connect team wherever possible.

Number of reports

There were people who submitted reports with team names (or #hashtag) but didn’t put in any numbers. In these cases, at a minimum we put in “one volunteer and one person served” logic, being that the act of reporting was an act of service and the person reporting was served in the process. We made other revisions if it was obvious what the missing numbers should be.

Number of volunteers

This was straightforward. We just counted what people reported. We may not be accountants, but this was an easy one.

Number of hours

Some people reported an act of compassion that lasted 10 seconds, and others reported  actions that will last for infinity. We did allow for fractions up to a quarter of an hour. Did I mention we are not accountants? We did our best!

Money donated to local causes

This was straightforward. We just added up the amounts.

Number of people served

This is the most objective number of them all. This says a lot about the reporter. We left the numbers as they were reported. In some cases people’s compassionate act reached thousands and even millions of people. Who can disagree with that?  I sure hope it’s true. Other people were quite conservative in reporting on how many people were served. I remember last year someone said that their meditations were reaching all sentient beings for all-time! I believe that’s true, but that’s me!

Other Observations

We saw that there was an enormous amount of food raised and we didn’t have an easy way to count that. We need a column titled  “Priceless”!

There are also groups of players that self-organized to form a team and never officially signed up but played and reported as a team. This is very cool!

And then there were the amazing reports themselves. For example; check out the report on what was done in Sierra Leone where $200 was raised to get the word out and keep people informed about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Or did you see the team that planted hundreds of pink flamingos in their neighbor’s yard to raise awareness and money for building homes in Guatemala? And of course, we hope you heard that the inmates in the California Institution for Women prison were playing for a second year, beating their personal best of 4600 points last year by exceeding their goal of 10,000 points this year! The stories go on and on.

The compassion report map is full of these kinds of experiences being shared with the world.  We’d love you to look through them and let us know about your favorites!

It is humbling and inspiring to see what we’re capable of when we come together to give of ourselves in creative ways seeking to play with compassion!

If you want to understand more about how we see the leaderboard and measuring compassion take a look at this article we wrote recently.

What’s Next?

Have your calendar handy?

October 15-25 – The Schools Games

February 1-7 – The Interfaith/Multicultural/Faith Based Games

Year-round Keep the Compassion Games alive in your life and in your community! Keep the reports coming and contribute to our Compassion Games International Facebook page. Keep the creativity flowing and broadcasted!

Compassion shared is compassion multiplied!

Here are your results! 



Wow! 2014 Games Are Behind Us, Now it’s Time to Celebrate and Share!

Wow, what an amazing closing day for this years breakthrough Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest!

As you know there were convenings happening all over the globe celebrating a world of connected communities. There were hundreds of thousands of people out in the streets in New York City for the People’s Climate March as well as thousands of gatherings in solidarity with the March, and around the world people were also celebrating the International Day of Peace and the last day of the Compassion Games. It was a day when the world gave voice to the concerns and dreams we share about our future. No one can comprehend the impact of yesterday and I don’t think we’ll ever have a day like yesterday again. Or will we?

This year’s Compassion Games were a breakthrough and we broke lots of new ground; we organized into leagues of teams that can now prepare and train all year round, we introduced new games like “Drive With Compassion” and “Compassion All-Stars“, and launched the “Sun Up Our Sanctuaries Compassion Games Solar Challenge” which will run to the end of next year’s games, as well as over a thousand people acting as Secret Agents of Compassion. We heard the first Compassion Games theme song thanks to Dina Rae Capitano, got to download the Compassion Today! app developed by Dr. Lesa Walker, and of course all the power of self-organizing and inspiring teams making contributions like the #CreativeDeed project. Clearly we are all Compassion Games champions!

While we are overjoyed with the dramatic increase in participation, what really inspires us is what people are doing and the stories they’re sharing. Thank you to those of you who took great care and time to share your experiences with us on the Report Map. We know you are all in it, not for the points, but to help heal, inspire, make your home, community, world save, kinder, more just places to live. We also know those points are important too!

We will do a thorough review and report on what the 2014 games has contributed to our Compassion Games movement. We know the games are a catalyst for collaboration and we look forward to strengthening and expanding what is emerging.

For now we wanted to clarify the timing and encourage everyone to submit whatever reports they choose to. We encourage people to keep reporting on the compassion map in the days and weeks and months to come. But, for reports to be counted and tallied on the leaderboard for this years games the reports must be submitted by midnight Wednesday PDT. We will review and tally them and our goal is to have the final numbers by 5 PM Friday.

We recently wrote a piece about the leaderboard and why we think it’s important. You can read that piece here. Remember no one can lose the compassion games and the more people play the more people win! That’s why this is so worth the time and effort to organize. Thank you so much for making the 2014 Compassion Games a great success!


The Leaderboard: Measuring Our Compassion in Action

“Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.” ~Unknown

The Compassion Games maintains a Leaderboard where everyone can see the results of what each team has reported during the games. We count the number of reports, number of volunteers, hours of service, dollars raised for local causes, and the number of people served. The reports are submitted to the Compassion Report Map and then tallied and put on the leaderboard.

Does this mean there’s one winner of the Compassion Games? No! Everybody wins. The Compassion Games is an infinite game which means the more people play, the more people win!

Then why have a Leaderboard? Because beyond winning and losing, measuring and improving our results does matter. Taking the time to reflect upon what we have accomplished adds a very important dimension to our thinking, speaking, doing, and playing. The Games are not about winning or avoiding losing. It is the journey of our playing, not the destination, that matters.

Our results can be an annual benchmark for measuring our collective capacity to play the games and develop the skills we need to learn to treat each other, our earth, and ourselves with the utmost love and compassion.  In the end we are only competing with ourselves. Ultimately, the games are about looking at the ways we are in the world and challenging ourselves to become the ways we want to be, to be living examples. As Gandhi said,

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”

We are challenging ourselves to move beyond our “comfort zones” and into our “stretch zone” to expand to make the changes that need to be made to make the world the way we want it.  The Compassion Report Map lets us read the stories about what we are actually doing.

For me personally, being compassionate is not being soft, it’s being real. It’s going sometimes to the very depths of who we are and questioning ourselves in profound ways. Each year the games has challenged me in surprisingly creative and meaningful ways. It’s very much like going on a journey in which you set out to go west. What you soon discover is that no matter how far you go there’s always more west to go!

Be Prepared to Be Surprised

There’s no doubt that organizing the compassion games is one of the most exciting and challenging things I’ve ever been a part of. The games include many important dimensions about learning to work together including teamwork, strategy, adapting to difficulties, dealing with failure, dealing with success, sacrificing individual glory for team success, hard work, discipline, and the value of practice. These are the very skills that we are seeking to amplify in the games.   So when you check out the Compassion Report Map and the Leaderboard look to see what we have done for ourselves, each other, and the world.  Look beyond who won to see how together we are all winning!

“I am in a competition with no one. I run my own race. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone, in any way, shape, or form. I just aim to improve, to be better than I was before. That’s me and I’m free.”  ~Unknown

Compassionate Silicon Valley: The Heart of Innovation and the “Spiritual Element”

Silicon Valley is known as a hotbed of innovation. A fiercely competitive environment, it is a place in which discovering and promoting the next big thing is everything. Could it be that “compassion in action” is the next big thing?

As it turns out, one of the most inspiring and effective teams in the 2014 Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest is Compassionate Silicon Valley. To participate in this global “co-opetition” they have amassed a team that includes more than 20 affiliated organizations that have challenged each other to work and play cooperatively. The list includes:

  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
  • Brahma Kumari World Spiritual Organization
  • Campbell United Methodist Church
  • Carry the Vision
  • Center for Spiritual Enlightenment
  • Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale
  • Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints
  • Council of Churches of Santa Clara County
  • First Unitarian Church of San Jose
  • Global Ministries University
  • Gnostic Sanctuary/Ecclesia Gnostica Mysteriorum
  • Hindu American Foundation
  • Interfaith Council for Economics & Justice
  • Interfaith Space
  • Jain Center of Northern California
  • Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley
  • Northern CA Local Council of Covenant of the Goddess
  • Pacifica Institute BAY CC
  • San Jose Friends Meeting
  • San Jose Stake
  • Sikh Gurdwara-San Jose
  • South Bay Islamic Association
  • Temple Emanu-El Congregation
  • Tzu Chi Foundation
  • Universal Church of the Master
  • Working Partnerships, USA

In all the years of the Compassion Games, we have never seen such an innovative, highly developed level of cultural-maturity and competitive altruism at play!  This is unprecedented… clearly they are up to something, and this something could be really good for all of us!

What we suspect is that they are developing and implementing a “spiritual core” for their highly diverse team to ensure that the functionality and applications of Compassionate Silicon Valley are built on an innovative next-generation platform. It suggests that they are taking a Human Kind / Kind Human 2.0 approach to living, working, and playing together.

Could this prototype of a “spiritual element” be an extension of the “secure element” recently patented by Apple and that is now at the heart of Apple Pay?  It’s the logical next step beyond “payments” – giving freely with no expectation of anything in return.

Putting pluralistic spiritual and non-spiritual values at the core of their team and its applications to ensure balance, harmony, peace and empathy amongst all the players. It could be a brilliant strategic move that takes Compassionate Silicon Valley right to the lead in the Compassion Games, and continues the tradition of having the valley be a leading hub for fresh, novel, and inventive development.

James and a Friend

Dr. James Doty and Unnamed Friend

We checked in on Dr. James Doty M.D. and Founder of CCARE (Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education) at Stanford University who is right in the heart of Silicon Valley and it’s environs.  We are wondering whether he thinks such a “spiritual element” is a technically feasible and viable approach to building high performance teams and applications capable of implementing cultures of compassion in communities around the world; Dr. Doty says:

“As a species, humans are finely attuned to the emotional states of others. The survival of our species, literally from birth, is one in which others of our species intervene, support and care when they sense we are in need, in pain or are suffering. It is our default mode. And it is when we demonstrate this reality that our physiology functions at its best and it is also when we are most happy. It is what allows each of us to thrive and is what gives meaning and purpose. Fundamentally, this defines compassion and its power for the giver and the receiver.”

“In Silicon Valley,” he says, “there is for many a sense of anxiety, isolation and loneliness. Compassionate Silicon Valley has created a platform that includes many spiritual and faiths traditions offering a place of safety, security and fellowship ultimately creating a sense of trust and unconditional acceptance that is so critical for authentic social connection.”

“I have no question the power of this effort.”

Speculation has begun about this new heart-based “start-up” on a quest to find a repeatable and scalable way to bring compassion culture to the masses. The new venture Compassionate Silicon Valley is being led by Girish Shah, a spiritually-gifted technical wizard.

Take a look at the instructions they have published for participating in the 2014 Compassion Games:silicon-valley-page 2A





silicon-valley-page1BWe can expect great applications of compassion in action from Compassionate Silicon Valley as they build upon the diverse and powerful Human Kind / Kind Human 2.0 platform they are developing.  We will all just have to upgrade our collective capacity to do good in order to keep up with this novel approach to playing and winning the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest!!

Skeptical that compassion in business could work? Listen to Simon Sinek speak about why a true leader creates an environment of trust that makes people feel unquestionably safe, and you might change your mind. Or better yet, your heart.