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Representatives of the Compassion Games Address the Seattle City Council and Council Members Help Spread the Word

On September 10, 2012, representatives of the Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest briefed the Seattle city council on the goals and plans for the Compassion Games. The Council members committed to engage and help spread the word to their constituents. For example, council member Nick Licata posted about the Compassion Games and the briefing on his official blog.

Jon Ramer with Compassionate Seattle network is the Head Gamemaker (for all you Hunger Games fans) of the Compassion Games. He was joined at the council meeting by Louis Mendoza of the volunteer center of United Way of King County and Andrea Brenneke, a civil rights and employment lawyer and board member of Compassionate Seattle and the Compassionate Action Network International. Together, these three representatives displayed their passion and enthusiasm for creating greater compassion in the city of Seattle and, importantly, helping Seattleites discover where compassion already flourishes. You can see the briefing here; the Compassion Games portion begins just after minute 43:00.

 

The Games, of course, begin on September 21, 2012, the International Day of Peace, the United Way Day of Caring, and the Autumnal Equinox—as Ramer noted in his remarks—to October 21, 2012, the conclusion of Seattle’s “The Next 50” event and the end of their month focused on civic engagement. During the briefing, council member Licata stated, “I think that it’s very appropriate that this is starting here in Seattle given that I think we’re the #1 game-maker in the US if not the world.” Similarly, Brenneke signaled her and Seattle’s readiness to take up the city of Louisville’s challenge to best them in compassion through the inaugural Compassion Games: Survival of the Kindest. As Ramer declares at the end of the briefing, “Let’s all get SuperBetter!”

“I Wasn’t Arrested That Day, I Was Really Rescued!”

Here is a story of compassion that is so needed at this time as we support our police force to think differently about how they relate to their fellow citizens.  Imagine if it was your job to arrest people. How would you relate to the people you’re arresting? What does it mean to treat those who are being arrested with compassion?

A few weeks ago I was witness to an uncanny event that helped shed light on these questions. While attending a meeting focused on the Safe Communities program, I met Pastor Ray Rogers from Rose Prayer Christian Ministries and Harry Bailey, a senior policy adviser to the Mayor of Seattle.

At some point in the meeting, Pastor Rogers realized that Harry, who was sitting across from him, was the man he’d wanted to see for over 20 years. It turns out that, as a youth, Ray Rogers sold narcotics to Harry Bailey, then working as an undercover cop. Harry, fulfilling his duty as an officer, arrested Ray.

But instead of an arrest that might have left Ray as a young man shamed or angry, something profoundly different happened between the two men that day. As Ray explains it, Harry Bailey treated Ray with dignity and said six words that left such a lasting impression on him, that it helped turn his whole life around. Watch the video to hear the whole story and find out what those six words were. Find out why Ray says today with such conviction that “there’s a reason why everything happens in our life.”

Pastor Ray Rogers tells his story publicly at a rally organized by Standing in the Gap Seattle last Saturday with Harry Bailey in attendance.  Watch the short video of Pastor Ray sharing his story and challenging us to get off the “couch of do nothing” and to come out and make a difference.  When I called Harry to get his permission to share this video he told me that he was hopeful that other police officers would see the video and see the difference that they can make in a young person’s life.

Leave your comments below and tell us what you think about Ray’s story. What can you do to “get off the couch” as Ray suggests? Tell us what compassionate action you’re committed to do today to make a difference in someone’s life.

Do you have a story of compassion to share? We want others to know about the goodness and kindness that exists here in our community. Click here to learn how you can submit your story to the Compassion Games.

September 21st – Good Star Alignment for the Compassion Games

Early on we realized that September 21st was an ideal day to start the Compassion Games not only because it’s the United Way’s Day of Caring, but also because it’s the autumnal fall equinox and the much beloved International Day of Peace.

Fortunately this year, the Peace, Compassion, Happiness, Empathy, Understanding, Love and Generosity movements are all working together. We’re all after the same ideal of a better world for our children and grandchildren no matter what you call it. Compassion Games knows we’re interdependent so we’re operating as such and seeking to lift all boats in the process.

Locally, our kick-off event for the games on Friday, September 21st is at the Urban Art Mural project in the south end at 10 AM. Get ready to be creative with friends and neighbors as we take back a corner that’s had a violent history. In the afternoon we’ll have a table at the United Way Day of Caring after-party at Century Link Field starting at 3 PM, and then to end the day we’ll be a participant in the peace vigil and concert happening at the Interfaith Community Church, 7 PM. For over ten years we have worked with the Interfaith Community Church and the three Interfaith Amigos so it’s fitting to celebrate the opening with them. In fact, it was Ted Falcon of the Interfaith Amigos who suggested that we move from the “Golden Rule” to “The Golden Reality”, inspiring much of the vision for these games.

Globally, the Compassion Games is contributing to peace, compassion, and empathy initiatives taking place beyond the greater Seattle region by including them in our “Heart Map

Seattle prides itself on being a “glocal” city (global and local), e.g. we haven’t been shy about starting the games in Seattle as a response to a challenge from the mayor and friends in the City of Louisville! In creating the games we seek to be the “organizational backbone”, if you will, for all of the individuals and organizations in Seattle who have been working on behalf of a kinder, safer and more just world for everyone. Meanwhile, we encourage other cities and communities around the world to sign the Charter for Compassion and consider organizing Compassion Games in your community.

In the online space, we’re looking to create “waves of compassion” through social media streams. Please “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, share our posts and tweets with your friends and family and help us spread the word!

Most of all, if you’re in Seattle, be a player in the games! To join our newsletter and get involved, click here!