Thursday, January 01, 2009

Welcoming 2009 With Compassion

Well, here we are looking 2009 square in the face, with our hopes, dreams, prayers and aspirations floating up into the ethers.

For myself, on a very personal level, I am wishing for an end to my chronic pain, a complete remission from depression, regular exercise, stable weight, improved sleep, and more connection with others. I plan to be proactive about my health, reach out socially and professionally, and embrace the challenges and opportunities afforded me by my new job as a Public Health Nurse. In terms of writing, Digital Doorway will very soon celebrate its fourth birthday, and I plan to continue to seek out opportunities to have my work published both online and in print.

As for this world of ours, I am hopeful that Barack Obama's rise to power will lead to some startlingly refreshing changes here in the United States and abroad. For one, I hope that 2009 will see us moving towards some form of universal health care, allowing those 40 million uninsured Americans to have access to what I see as a basic human right. Yes, providing health care for every American citizen will be expensive, but as our population ages, the cost of untreated chronic disease will have costs beyond our wildest dreams.

In terms of violence around the world, I find it difficult to hope that all violence, slavery, ethnic cleansing, terrorism and war will cease to be. Considering the track record of homo sapiens sapiens, this is an unrealistic expectation, however I still hold out hope that we will see some changes as the U.S. itself undergoes a makeover of sorts.

Over all, if there was going to be more of anything on this old earth of ours, I would like to see more compassion. Breaking it all down, stripping away the hurt, the pain, the violence, the greed, the errant passions that consume us as a species, I feel that a scarcity of compassion can lead humans to act in ways that are damaging to self, to others, and to humanity as a whole. As for Mr. Obama, he would be wise to create a new cabinet-level position---The Secretary of Compassion---whose grave responsibility would be to remind us as a people that compassion is the energy that must be injected into every situation, into every circumstance, and into every relationship.

Compassion is the seed of non-violence, and the lack of compassion is the very germ that leads to the growth of hatred, violence, and all of the negative emotions and energies that seem to so deeply infect and haunt the human race.

While cultivating compassion is indeed a very personal action that begins from within, compassion can also be developed by nations, by world leaders, and by societies themselves. If I were to wish for any particular theme for 2009, the widespread cultivation of compassion on a global scale would be my greatest wish for humanity. Perhaps, if we each plant the seed of a growing seedling of compassion that comes to fruition within each of our hearts in the coming year, that seedling will sprout into a worldwide blossoming of compassion that can only have positive ramifications for the entire world.

As I have written before, The Charter for Compassion is a worldwide movement striving to bring compassion into the consciousness of humankind. Its mission is global, and the work of cultivating a worldwide movement of compassion is indeed in process as I write. From their website:

"The Charter for Compassion is a collaborative effort to build a peaceful and harmonious global community. Bringing together the voices of people from all religions, the Charter seeks to remind the world that while all faiths are not the same, they all share the core principle of compassion and the Golden Rule. The Charter will change the tenor of the conversation around religion. It will be a clarion call to the world."

I, for one, embrace compassion as the global theme for 2009. Perhaps you, dear Reader, will join me in this movement so we can work to bring compassion to the forefront of human consciousness in 2009.

(c) 2009 NurseKeith

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