Compassion

‘…under her sky.’

January 16, 2021

Washington National Cathedral is hosting a new art exhibit showcasing thousands of paper doves suspended from the Cathedral’s vaulted, 100-foot-high ceiling through May 2021. The “Les Colombes” exhibit is by German artist Michael Pendry, who has created similar works at Cathedrals around the world, and symbolizes the Biblical theme of hope and optimism heading into the new year after a very challenging 2020.

Every moment and every event of every woman’s life on earth plants something in her soul. -Thomas Merton [changes to gender, mine.]

More from Merton:

Prayer is freedom and affirmation growing out of nothingness into love. It is the elevation of our limited freedom into the infinite freedom of the divine spirit and of the divine love. Prayer is an emergence into this area of infinite freedom.

~

Keep your eyes clean your ears quiet and your mind serene. Breathe Gaia’s air. Work, if you can, under her sky.


Dear Friends,

I’ve always called myself a lover of language and of the limits of language. But this week I take no pleasure in how tongue-tied I feel, standing before the disarray and fragility of our life together. It’s hard to put words out into the world right now for so many reasons. That they’re not big enough. That they never tell the whole truth. That we live in a moment so on edge and reactive that someone will take offense, or be wounded by my words, and that feels harder than ever before to risk and to bear.

There is an insanity to our life together right now that is directly related to the tenuous hold on sanity so many of us feel after surviving this past year.  

That does not justify hatred or violence.

It does mean that we’re called to be as gentle with ourselves and others as we can possibly, reasonably muster. That sounds like such a modest contribution to the tumult all around and on our screens, but it is not.

I keep coming back in memory, and feeling in my body, to my experience of election night 2020. I observed it as someone who sees our political life together as a reflection of the human condition in all its complexity, contradiction, and mess. But I was also watching as a person who grew up in one of the “reddest” states, who now lives in one of the “bluest.” I felt a panicked sadness — this has remained my primary emotion through everything that has followed — as the cameras zoomed in and out on those maps of our country.

I saw visually what I know in life as it is lived: those maps marked up with definitive reds and blues don’t tell the truth of our alienation and its unsustainable intimacy. The fractures that actually define our nation right now do not run state to state or county to county, but neighborhood to neighborhood, family to family. They run through our dreams for our children on every side. They run through our hearts, and through our lives.

I am so grateful to have received, as I was struggling to write this, an email from Whitney Kimball Coe of the Rural Assembly and the Center for Rural Strategies. There is a whole epic story of our time in what is being gathered and created in the world she’s part of. It is in no way described or contained in a red-blue demographic lens of the “urban-rural divide.” She gave me permission to share this part of her email with you:

“I’m at home nursing my youngest, Susannah, who had a scary fall on Monday night and is now recuperating from surgery. She’s going to be fine, but my goodness, 2021 came in hard. Stream of consciousness moment:You know, our hospital experience put us directly in the path of so many wonderful East Tennesseans. Nurses and technicians and doctors, the other parents waiting in the ER, the parking attendant, the security guard. I’m sure many of them didn’t vote as I did in the last election and probably believe the events of Jan 6 were mere protests, but they responded to our trauma with their full humanity. I’d forgotten what it feels like to really see people beyond their tribe/ideology. It broke something open in me. I’ve been living in a castle of isolation these many months and it’s rotted and blotted my insides. I’m aware of contempt, anger, and maybe even paranoia coursing through my veins, and I wonder if that’s just a snippet of where we are as a nation.

Why is our righteous indignation and disgust so much easier to flame than our compassion?

It makes me realize that there is no substitute for coming into the presence of one another. No meme nor Twitter post nor op-ed nor breaking news nor TED talk can soften and strengthen our hearts like actually tending to one another. We don’t have to ignore/excuse the darkness we all carry, but we have to keep showing up so we don’t lose ourselves to bitterness.”

We cannot conjure up something so aspirational as “unity” by wishing it, and we are in fact impoverished when it comes to “common ground” between our societal trenches. 

But if I’ve heard one thing most insistently, with an infinite variety of circumstance and struggle, from absolutely every beautiful and wise human I’ve ever met, it is this: We are creatures made, again and again, by what would break us. Yet only if we open to the fullness of the reality of what goes wrong for us, and walk ourselves with and through it, are we able to integrate it into a new kind of wholeness on the other side.

Our collective need for a new kind of wholeness might be the only aspiration we can share across all of our chasms right now.

Longings, too, can be common ground. A shared desire not to be lost to bitterness. A clear-eyed commitment that what divides us now does not have to define what can become possible between us. Questions, honestly asked, about how to make that real.

-Krista

[Krista Tippett is a Peabody Award-winning broadcaster, a National Humanities Medalist, a New York Times bestselling author, and founder of On Being.]

Krista Tippett

As a nation…

January 14, 2021

…perhaps truth is no longer a direct possibility. In the United States, two distinct and separate platforms of truth hold form. Beyond ‘truth’,

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C O M P A S S I O N

‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’

-Martin Luther King Jr.

King was a visionary, just as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were visionaries.  What each of them had in common was common sense, an understanding of history and a conviction of love and hope.  This same spirit today is reflected in the leadership of Jacinda Ardern, Angela Merkel and Greta Thunberg. King left us a legacy that we must not ignore.  There are many thousands who are carrying his mantle of resistance to oppression and path to justice. Most of us understand that love and compassion are the best antidotes to violence and hatred. May we all refocus and double down on being lights that drive out darkness, showing love that drowns out hatred, and spreading compassion that all make our world a better place for everyone. Let’s allow those common-sense chapters of On Tyranny be our points of reflection and action.

Why Martin Luther King Day is Celebrated in Hiroshima, Japan

We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the discords of war.  –Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Hiroshima, Japan is one of the only cities that celebrates Martin Luther King Day outside of the United States. This connection may seem surprising but a closer examination reveals Hiroshima, known as the “City of Peace” is the living embodiment of many of Dr. King’s core beliefs including non-violence, peace, resilience, forgiveness and optimism. It would be expected that the people of Hiroshima were consumed by sorrow, hate and thoughts of revenge following the atomic bombing of their city. Instead, the survivors of the irradiated city consciously and deliberately rebuilt their city to ensure that every facet of their society – governmental policies, educational system, city landmarks, and holidays, including Martin Luther King Day – contributed to the promotion of world peace. As a result, a city that was described as a “burned scar” in 1945 is now known as the “City of Peace” that aggressively exports reconciliation, harmony and inspires millions around the world every year. Please join the conversation with Steve Leeper of Peace Culture Village and Ray Matsumiya of the Oleander Initiative as they discuss the devastating humanitarian impact of the atomic bombing AND the process of healing and rebuilding that resulted in Hiroshima’s extraordinary culture of peace.

[Please visit this link for the full article: https://charterforcompassion.org/component/acymailing/mailid-418?tmpl=component

Thank you to Dr. Andrea Montgomery Di Marco, CEO of the Flourishing Foundation/Global Women Seeking Change, for sharing this information, https://flourishingfoundation.org 

Our first response, foundation, must be compassion for other, ahimsa, non-violence, and peace for all beings, regardless of your, or my,  ‘truth.’


‘The reward for uncovering the truth is the experience of honest knowing. The reward for understanding is the peace of knowing. The reward for loving is being the carrier of love. It all becomes elusively simple. The river’s sole purpose is to carry water, and as the force of the water depends and widens the riverbed, the river fulfills its purpose more. Likewise, the river bed of the heart is worn open over time to carry what is living.

Even the deepest pain will pass.’

-Mark Nepo


 

 

Ahimsa.

January 12, 2021

[A 10-year-old girl’s letter to the police officer seen being crushed in the insurrection riot at the Capitol building on January 6th, 2021.]

“Sorrow is my meditation.” -Dr. Jan Peppler

‘Our suffering has been trying to communicate with us, to let us know it is there, but we have spent a lot of time and energy ignoring it.

The suffering inside us contains the suffering of our fathers, our mothers, and our ancestors.

Our suffering reflects the suffering of the world.

Understanding suffering always brings compassion.’

-Thich Nhat Hanh

We are beaten and blown by the wind, blown the wind, oh when I go there, I go there with you, it’s all I can do.

-U2

‘Despite the terrific beating we were experiencing at the hands of fate, each of us still living out his faith. Even in the presence of extraordinary pain, we were taking right action, we were attending to our practice, each in her own way.

As I listened to the lyrics of this song, the depth of my commitment to my own spiritual path became clear to me.

Marianne Williamson, in her spiritual guidebook a Return to Love, “If you want to end darkness, you cannot beat it with a baseball bat, you have to turn on the light.”

We do not need to enter a showdown with our self-destructive behavior, nor can we deny its existence. We must simply come to now it, and move on. We learn to focus wholeheartedly on positive behavior.’

-Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison

Additionally, ahimsa/non-violence practiced not only in behavior and thought, but also a vow to disrupt violence.

From Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, lawyer, author, and professor: “We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation.”

From yoga teacher, practitioner, author and activist Seane Corn.

Dearest friends, 

I intended this letter to be about the New Year, wishing you all the brightest and the best for 2021. 

Sadly, so quickly into the year, the Capitol building in the US was assaulted by domestic terrorists, and, once again, this nation is in trauma and turmoil. 

I am devastated by the events in DC and horrified by the people who caused so much suffering to democracy in the US. It’s tragic but not surprising. It felt like it was moving in this direction for a very long time.

Although this moment in history is sad and discouraging, I continue to commit to re-imagining a future that is happy, healthy, and peaceful for ALL and holding on to hope that justice will prevail and healing will occur for us in the US and throughout the world.

I hope you are doing okay. That you are breathing, staying in communication with your friends, family, and support system, and doing your yoga, meditation, and healing work. 

I am sending you so much love to you and your family.

God bless,

Alternate text

The world cries out for compassion.

Yes. And compassion. Feel it. Share it. Grow it. Live it.

December 27, 2020

I think of empathy as a series of concentric circles. Some people can feel empathy only for their immediate circle: family and friends. Some go out to the next circle: neighbors. Others go to more advanced levels. But couldn’t we all benefit from leaping to the next circle out?

-Walter Shaub, former director of the United States Office of Government Ethics

 

As we are loved.

December 25, 2020

“A new commandment I give to you, the you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

-Jesus of Nazareth, John 13:34

~

‘I know why I celebrate the Christian message. It is because I am grateful for what I have learned from Jesus: to be courageous and dare to question the established ways of thinking;

to speak up about unjust laws;

to be fearlessly compassionate;

to reach out to those who are sick and suffering; to attend to my short-comings before judging others for theirs; to be empathetic and reach across tribal boundaries to embrace people of all kinds, even those who are traditionally thought of as enemies; to have personal dignity under stress and

not buckle under the weight of popular opinion;

to be true to myself when the masses disapprove; to be charitable and stand for forgiveness and help those who are disproportionately disadvantaged; to be down to Earth about my spirituality and to practice it; and above all, to have a direct and personal relationship with the Divine.’

-Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen

~

I, the father of this universe, the Mother, {GAIA, Sofia, Bafflement}, the Supporter, the Grandsire, the Holy One to be know, the Wood of Power.’ -The Bhagavad Gita

The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three; Three produced All things. -Tao Te Ching

In a moment of realness, the clouds in our mind clear and our passion is restored, and our walls crumble when no one is looking. It all continues and refreshes, if we let it. It all renews so subtly. -Mark Nepo


“Behold, I make all things new.”

☆☆•*¨*•.¸¸

 

Heal. And unite.

November 8, 2020

 

🤎 I love this image, especially because not only does he embody hate, I am reminded hate is born of fear and fragmentation, threading in and out of our existence on this plane. Somehow, we, this country, allowed him to be celebrated after decades of his darkness…his evil energy. May he always be a reminder for what we don’t want to be and stay diligent against these dark forces. May he be dissolved, and fade from our public platforms and consciousness. May those who supported him be awakened to his destructive energies and dark heart. May their eyes be opened. And may they want to unite with all of us to be one people, to know what is true, justified, equal…for all beings…especially the oppressed and marginalized. Let us, together, be reminded of what it means to reside in the heart of democracy and fix what has been broken since this country was born.

And then, may we heal. 

-dayle

From Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States:

“For all those of you who voted for President Trump, I understand the disappointment tonight. I’ve lost a couple of times myself. But now, let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature, see each other again, listen to each other again. And to make progress we have to stop treating our opponents as enemies.”

Alluding to scripture, he added: “This is the time to heal in America.”

From the Vice-President Elect, Kamala Harris, the first woman, a woman of color, Black and Southern Asian woman, to be elected to this office.

“Protecting our democracy takes struggle. It takes sacrifice. But there is joy in it. And there is progress. Because we, the people, have the power to build a better future.”

We The People

For those who voted, again, for the current president, please answer, ‘Why’? What did he do for you? During a pandemic? Employment? Opportunity? Fairness? Equality? Or, is it deeper? Fear? Nationalism? Culture? Bias? Concerns over race? Majorities? Disinformation? Social media platforms?

  • Truth.
  • Faith.
  • Clarity.
  • Compassion.
  • Empathy.

May we heal. And unite. Not half of us…all of us. We. The. People.

W.E.B. Du Bois:

Strive for that greatness of spirit that measure life not by its disappointments, but by its possibilities.

Desmond Tutu:

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

The collective heart of humankind’s suffering.

Thomas Merton:

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another and all involved in one another.

Friends,

Today, we celebrate our democracy, our common humanity, and a glass ceiling shattered once and for all.

With nearly 160 million votes cast, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won a decisive victory. They received more than 75 million votes, a greater number than any ticket in history, with a remarkable breadth of support from across the nation.

And they shattered several glass ceilings—it will be a joy to watch Vice President-elect Kamala inspire generations of future leaders and active citizens!

Across the Collective, we have seen so many give so much over these past four years, using a range of tools to fight for justice, equality, and our democracy. I am thankful and full of admiration.

We now have the opportunity to work for the systemic solutions we know we need—solutions that can remake the calcified systems in our country, from immigration and education to race and reconciliation, criminal justice and climate. And it will require each of us to bring spirit of ingenuity and hard work to support and accelerate America’s rebuilding and renewal.

We will let out the breath we have been holding in for so long. As celebratory as we feel, we also know that much work lies ahead—the work of healing the wounds and repairing the breaches.

So, we will get to work, and usher in the America we know is possible.

With relief and gratitude,
Laurene, Emerson Collective

Empathy + Sympahty = Compassion

We are a progressive being.

There is nothing at a standstill in nature.

Only God is motionless for (S)He was, is and will be the same yesterday,

today and tomorrow,

and yet, is ever moving.

-Mahatma Gandhi

I will never understand how 70,000,000+ people could vote for him again. Never. Perhaps, maybe, hopefully, some will evolve to understand his destructive and immoral behaviors. He has shown us who he is for decades. Some of us (me) gave him no mind. And then, he was elected to serve. He did not serve. He lied. He divided. And he hated. Hate is born of fear. What was feared?

Perhaps, we have always been this divided, but the ugly part was given platform and verbalized. Democracy, we have learned, is not passive, but active. We can not simply turn out the vote every two, or four years.

We must edify and protect the marginalized and oppressed. The government serves us, we don’t serve it.

A true democracy is messy and necessary. And it requires ‘good trouble.’

Now, let’s work to balance the scales and bring Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate in Georgia. The shadow president, Senator Mitch McConnell, will continue to strangle democracy and refuse to move policy forward if we do not achieve balance. Please donate or volunteer:   

electjon.com  warnockforgeorgia.com

James Martin, SJ:

It is, and always has been, possible to speak respectfully about someone with whom you disagree. Here’s how: “Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man who has won his opportunity to lead and unify our country.”

Krista Tippett, journalist and author:

What is the story of “us”? How do we learn it, how do we tell it, and how to shift it, across dehumanizing divides, in enduring ways?

Padraig O’ Tuama, poet:

In all the waiting of your week — for results from elections, for different news, for finality, for certitude — the work of the past is calling for attention. A new future will only be built on courageous moments, and those are happening now, and now and now. In the waiting, we are with you, considering history, paradise and conflict, considering how these patterns of time are inviting us to new actions. 

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On Being:

What do you notice about how you behave in times of conflict? Do you tend toward avoidance? Or compromise? Or collaboration? Or competition? Or accommodation?

This poem describes a conflict between neighbors: a tree hangs over a fence. The owners love this tree; their neighbors don’t. Somebody responds directly, somebody else avoids, a chainsaw appears. Suddenly this conflict becomes a parable for all conflicts, illustrating how deep they can go and how often they cannot be resolved with a question about what to do.

Philip Metres — One Tree

‘Conflict is not two sides, but many sides.

What is the definition of love between conflict?’

Will we learn how to listen to each other again; we are not enemies–we are merely opponents. We have more in common than we know, or perhaps, are willing to admit. .d

October 27, 2020

Finding a little bit of compassion where ever we can.

‘I think we’re supposed to help each other.’

April 7, 2020

‘Brené Brown has a Ph.D. in social work and is a professor at the University of Houston. For her research on human behavior and emotion, she has conducted tens of thousands of interviews with study subjects and amassed reams of data. She could easily have spent her career in the academic ivory tower.

But Brené Brown chose to do something that’s rare and dangerous in academia: she made her work popular, translating very rigorous scientific research into very human stories about relationships, parenting, and leadership. She just launched a popular podcast, and every one of her books is a best seller. Her plain-spoken lessons have particular resonance in these days of anxiety and disconnection.

Life Lessons:

Empathy skill set.

Compassion a belief system treating ourselves and others.

It is not based faith or spirituality…it shaped with boundaries. Those who share compassionate traits insist boundaries are respected. Blanket compassion is predicated by boundaries.

Brené Brown wants to help people.

Vulnerability:

Vulnerability is not weakness. It’s the only path to courage. Give me a single example of courage that does not require uncertainty, risk, or emotional exposure. No one, in 50,000 people, not a person has been able to give me an example of courage that did not include those things. There is no courage without vulnerability.

Through her bestselling books, Netflix special, new podcast, and speaking engagements that range from corporations to the military, Brown guides people in ways of understanding and improving themselves—and one another.

Her work became widely known in popular culture through her 2010 speech at a Houston TEDx, now one of the most viewed TED Talks of all time. Today in these days of anxiety and social distancing, her message seems to resonate even more deeply.

“I think we’re supposed to help each other. I mean, I don’t think we’re supposed to do it alone. We all want to be better.”

60 Minutes Interview:

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/brene-brown-cope-coronavirus-pandemic-covid-19-60-minutes-2020-03-29/

 

And still we rise.

April 2, 2020

 

Hala Alyan.

EMERGENCE MAGAZINE

‘Can we make room for grief, empathy, and hope?

We are all suddenly sleeper cells. Nobody is impervious. Nobody can buy their way out of it. (Though certainly those without resources will suffer more.) We are all in an elaborate, complicated ballet with everyone else, and the only thing more astonishing than this new reality is that it isn’t new at all. Only our awareness of it is.

want to talk to my great-grandparents, to the generations who lived through genocide and immigration. Never before have I been more acutely aware of the role of elders, a population that capitalism—and, by extension, our culture—tends to overlook and undervalue. Nowhere does our history exist more vibrantly than in those who lived it. I want to line up my ancestors. I want to know how they survived.

Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.

Empathy is a powerful potion, not for the faint of heart. Empathy requires opening yourself to suffering. I wonder what muscles of empathy will be built through this experience—towards those who struggle with their health, those who are imprisoned, those who get detained fleeing calamity. Those living under occupation.

The pandemic isn’t necessarily creating fears for people. It’s instead serving as a flashlight—illuminating people’s unsteadiest, half-finished parts. It’s showing us where our work remains.’

This Is Not a Rehearsal

Endarkment

March 27, 2020

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light,” Carl Jung wrote, “but by making the darkness conscious.”  Reading this, I realize that in a whole lifetime spent with seekers of enlightenment, I have never once heard anyone speak in hushed tones about the value of endarkenment. -Barbara Taylor Brown, author & Episcopal priest

And so even now, as light gives way to darkness, I know that once again light is born from darkness. Those who read out to help strangers are living out the oneness that is part of our spiritual DNA. -Science of Mind

 

What are we only now coming “to know” through this time of not-knowing?   

 

Either we will love and help one another or we will hate and attack one another, in which latter case we will all be one another’s hell. Perhaps Sartre was not far wrong in saying that where freedom is abused, society itself turns into heel.. (L’enfer c’est les autres.”) -Thomas Merton

 

Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus

This storm will pass. But the choices we make now could change our lives for years to come.

Humankind is now facing a global crisis. Perhaps the biggest crisis of our generation. The decisions people and governments take in the next few weeks will probably shape the world for years to come. They will shape not just our healthcare systems but also our economy, politics and culture. We must act quickly and decisively. We should also take into account the long-term consequences of our actions. When choosing between alternatives, we should ask ourselves not only how to overcome the immediate threat, but also what kind of world we will inhabit once the storm passes. Yes, the storm will pass, humankind will survive, most of us will still be alive — but we will inhabit a different world.

Many short-term emergency measures will become a fixture of life. That is the nature of emergencies. They fast-forward historical processes. Decisions that in normal times could take years of deliberation are passed in a matter of hours. Immature and even dangerous technologies are pressed into service, because the risks of doing nothing are bigger. Entire countries serve as guinea-pigs in large-scale social experiments. What happens when everybody works from home and communicates only at a distance? What happens when entire schools and universities go online? In normal times, governments, businesses and educational boards would never agree to conduct such experiments. But these aren’t normal times.

The coronavirus epidemic is thus a major test of citizenship. In the days ahead, each one of us should choose to trust scientific data and healthcare experts over unfounded conspiracy theories and self-serving politicians. If we fail to make the right choice, we might find ourselves signing away our most precious freedoms, thinking that this is the only way to safeguard our health.

[full read]

https://www.ft.com/content/19d90308-6858-11ea-a3c9-1fe6fedcca75

 

How the Pandemic Will End

The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.

Story by Ed Yong

The testing fiasco was the original sin of America’s pandemic failure, the single flaw that undermined every other countermeasure. If the country could have accurately tracked the spread of the virus, hospitals could have executed their pandemic plans, girding themselves by allocating treatment rooms, ordering extra supplies, tagging in personnel, or assigning specific facilities to deal with COVID-19 cases. None of that happened. Instead, a health-care system that already runs close to full capacity, and that was already challenged by a severe flu season, was suddenly faced with a virus that had been left to spread, untracked, through communities around the country. Overstretched hospitals became overwhelmed. Basic protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves, began to run out. Beds will soon follow, as will the ventilators that provide oxygen to patients whose lungs are besieged by the virus.

The White House is a ghost town of scientific expertise. A pandemic-preparedness office that was part of the National Security Council was dissolved in 2018. On January 28, Luciana Borio, who was part of that team, urged the government to “act now to prevent an American epidemic,” and specifically to work with the private sector to develop fast, easy diagnostic tests. But with the office shuttered, those warnings were published in The Wall Street Journal, rather than spoken into the president’s ear. Instead of springing into action, America sat idle.

After 9/11, the world focused on counterterrorism. After COVID-19, attention may shift to public health. Expect to see a spike in funding for virology and vaccinology, a surge in students applying to public-health programs, and more domestic production of medical supplies. Expect pandemics to top the agenda at the United Nations General Assembly. Anthony Fauci is now a household name. “Regular people who think easily about what a policewoman or firefighter does finally get what an epidemiologist does,” says Monica Schoch-Spana, a medical anthropologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

The lessons that America draws from this experience are hard to predict, especially at a time when online algorithms and partisan broadcasters only serve news that aligns with their audience’s preconceptions. Such dynamics will be pivotal in the coming months, says Ilan Goldenberg, a foreign-policy expert at the Center for a New American Security. “The transitions after World War II or 9/11 were not about a bunch of new ideas,” he says. “The ideas are out there, but the debates will be more acute over the next few months because of the fluidity of the moment and willingness of the American public to accept big, massive changes.”

[full read]

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/


7 Resources for Reliable Information About Coronavirus 

1. The World Health Organization

The World Health Organization (WHO) is publishing rolling updates on the coronavirus situation as well as useful infographics and explainers, and should be your first port of call for new assessments of what is going on.

The WHO has also got a really handy page on common coronavirus myths — covering everything from whether eating garlic or taking a bath can help prevent you catching it (they can’t), to discussion about what age people are most susceptible.

2. The National Health Service

The UK’s NHS is another excellent resource. It includes easy to understand advice about symptoms, and what to do if you think you have them.

It also gives details of how and under which circumstances you need to self-isolate, and for how long, and on how to get a self-isolation medical advice note to get to your employer.

3. The BBC Coronavirus Podcast

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has launched a Coronavirus Global Update podcast, which includes a daily round-up on the spread of coronavirus.

It also includes reports from affected areas, details of the latest medical information, and the impact on health, business, and travel.

4. COVID-19 Facts

The COVID-19 Facts website works to collate information from sources including the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the World Health Organization, and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

It also features a series covering myths around coronavirus, including analysis by the Economist Intelligence Unit of where the myth came from, and what experts say about it.

5. The New Scientist Podcast

The New Scientist podcast is becoming increasingly focused on COVID-19 — including episodes and pandemic preparations; the spread of COVID-19 and the importance of hand washing; the coronavirus vaccine; and a coronavirus special on disaster preparation and environmental change.

6. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

The content platform of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Optimist, is sharing stories, research, and news stories about coronavirus from the Foundation.

The platform works to convene expert voices from across the global health sector, including sharing expert perspectives and updates on the response to COVID-19 — and you can also sign up for the Optimist’s news digest.

7. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

The LSHTM launched its new podcastLSHTM Viral in January 2020, in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, and is releasing a new episode every week. It specifically focuses on the science behind outbreaks and how we respond to them.

Meanwhile, the LSHTM is also launching an online short course, for those who want to better understand the emergence of COVID-19, and how we respond to it moving forward.

The free-of-charge course launches on March 23, and will cover topics like: how COVID-19 emerged and was identified; public health measures worldwide; and what’s needed to address COVID-19 in the future.

Given that everything is going to be the way it’s going to be, we’re left with an actually useful and productive question instead: “What are you going to do about it?”

-Seth Godin

Anticipatory grief.

Stocking up on compassion.

Name it.

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief

Harvard Business Review

Anticipatory grief is the mind going to the future and imagining the worst. To calm yourself, you want to come into the present.

Finally, it’s a good time to stock up on compassion. Everyone will have different levels of fear and grief and it manifests in different ways. A coworker got very snippy with me the other day and I thought, That’s not like this person; that’s how they’re dealing with this. I’m seeing their fear and anxiety. So be patient. Think about who someone usually is and not who they seem to be in this moment.

When you name it, you feel it and it moves through you. Emotions need motion. It’s important we acknowledge what we go through.

It’s absurd to think we shouldn’t feel grief right now. Let yourself feel the grief and keep going.

https://hbr.org/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief

Dorothy & Rebecca

March 9, 2020

Dorothy Day [1997-1980], journalist and social activist, was 8 years old on the night of April 18th, 1906, living in Oakland, during the San Francisco earthquake.

‘There were broken dishes all over the floor, along with books, chandeliers, and pieces of the ceiling and chimney. The city was in ruins, too, temporarily reduced to poverty and need. But in the days after, Bay Area residents pulled together. “While the crisis lasted, people loved each other,” she wrote in her memoir decades later. “It was as though they were united in [compassionate] solidarity. It makes one think of how people could, if they would, care for each other in times of stress, unjudgingly in pity and love” [David Brooks, The Road to Character, 2015, pp. 74-75.].’

‘Writer and editor Paul Elie has said,  “A whole life is prefigured in that episode”…the crisis, the tense of God’s nearness, the awareness of poverty, the feeling of loneliness and abandonment, but also the sense that that loneliness can be filled by love and community, especially through solidarity with those in the deepest need [Brooks, p. 75].’

The most startling thing about disasters, according to award-winning author Rebecca Solnit, is not merely that so many people rise to the occasion, but that they do so with joy. That joy reveals an ordinarily unmet yearning for community, purposefulness, and meaningful work that disaster often provides. 

A Paradise Built in Hell is an investigation of the moments of altruism, resourcefulness, and generosity that arise amid disaster’s grief and disruption and considers their implications for everyday life. It points to a new vision of what society could become-one that is less authoritarian and fearful, more collaborative and local.

NYTimes:

“What is this feeling that crops up during so many disasters?” Ms. Solnit asks. She describes it as “an emotion graver than happiness but deeply positive,” worth studying because it provides “an extraordinary window into social desire and possibility.” Our response to disaster gives us nothing less than “a glimpse of who else we ourselves may be and what else our society could become.” Her overarching thesis can probably be boiled down to this sentence: “The recovery of this purpose and closeness without crisis or pressure” — without disaster, that is — “is the great contemporary task of being human.”

In “A Paradise Built in Hell” Ms. Solnit probes five disasters in depth: the 1906 earthquake and fires in San Francisco, the Halifax munitions cargo ship explosion of 1917, the Mexico City earthquake of 1985, the events of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. She also writes about the London blitz, Chernobyl and many other upheavals and examines the growing field of disaster studies [2009].

#DeleteFacebook

January 1, 2020

New Year’s Eve 2019.

Hi friends.  This is my final post on fb. 2.2 billion people, a third of humanity, log on across the planet every hour, I don’t think Zuck will miss me much. Nonetheless, 17 million Americans have left FB in the last two years because of disinformation and political manipulation. Mark Zuckerberg made an additional $27 billion last year alone; he won’t be changing his behaviors any time soon. He throws all that he does under the free speech/innovation bus. His modus operandi has always been to act first, apologize later. Literal early company motto: ‘Move fast and break things.’ Based on past behaviors and weak rhetoric, I don’t think he has the moral compass to steer a moral path. He doesn’t have the emotional or compassionate intelligence to consider the meaning of truth, the limits of free speech, and the origins of violence. Peter Thiel, a billionaire who sits on his board, is the guy who once wrote democracy was weakened when women received the right to vote. Good guy. Zuckerberg is now at the center of a full-fledged debate about the moral character of Silicon Valley and the conscience of its leaders.

In their opinion piece for January 1st, 2020, Idaho Mountain Express offered their New Year’s resolution for fb and Zuckerberg: “To take legal responsibility for what his platform has wrought by making it a publisher instead of a filthy rich exploiter of unsuspecting Americans.” Right on.

In 1915, Louis Brandeis, the reformer and future Supreme Court Justice, testified before a congressional committee about the dangers of corporations large enough that they could achieve a level of near-sovereignty “so powerful that the ordinary social and industrial forces existing are insufficient to cope with it.” He called this the “curse of bigness.” Tim Wu, a Columbia law-school professor and the author of a forthcoming book inspired by Brandeis’s phrase, said “Today, no sector exemplifies more clearly the threat of bigness to democracy than Big Tech.” He added, “When a concentrated private power has such control over what we see and hear, it has a power that rivals or exceeds that of elected government.”

A healthy market should produce competitors to Facebook that position themselves as ethical alternatives, collecting less data and seeking a smaller share of user attention. Like it or not, Zuckerberg is a gatekeeper. The era when Facebook could learn by doing, and fix the mistakes later, is over. The costs are too high, and idealism is not a defense against negligence.

I’ll miss my connections on this platform, my ol’ radio buds, sorority sisters, our community…I even reconnected with a dear junior high school friend from San Diego. We were 14 years old when we met. I will miss the ease in posting and sharing information. I remain hopeful someone will create a new social media site that will allow us to have a nonaddictive, advertising-free space that guards against foreign influence and disinformation, honoring privacy and our personal data. From Free Press: ‘We must have control over how our personal information is used, and prohibit its use to build systems that oppress, discriminate, disenfranchise and exacerbate segregation.’

I don’t Instagram or engage on WhatsApp…all Zuckerberg. I stay with twitter, where I follow various news organizations and journalists, because owner Jack Dorsey has committed to eliminating political ads and just recently launched a research project called Bluesky, researching decentralized technical standards for social media platforms making it easier to enforce rules against hate speech and other abuses.

The early hope for internet democracy has evaporated into a dystopian space that has weakened our democracy with dangerous disinformation, false political ads and foreign algorithms. We haven’t even begun to deal with ‘deep fake’ video yet, given media in general, the press specifically, have not found a way to authenticate what’s real and what isn’t. This virtual mess is only going to get worse.

In India, the largest market for Facebook’s WhatsApp service, hoaxes have triggered riots, lynchings, and fatal beatings. Local officials resorted to shutting down the Internet sixty-five times last year. In Libya, people took to Facebook to trade weapons, and armed groups relayed the locations of targets for artillery strikes. In Sri Lanka, after a Buddhist mob attacked Muslims this spring over a false rumor, a Presidential adviser said, “The germs are ours, but Facebook is the wind.”

Nowhere has the damage been starker than in Myanmar, where the Rohingya Muslim minority has been subject to brutal killings, gang rapes, and torture. In 2012, around one per cent of the country’s population had access to the Internet. Three years later, that figure had reached twenty-five per cent. Phones often came preloaded with the Facebook app, and Buddhist extremists seeking to inflame ethnic tensions with the Rohingya mastered the art of misinformation.

Beginning in 2013, a series of experts on Myanmar met with Facebook officials to warn them that it was fueling attacks on the genocide. David Madden, an entrepreneur based in Myanmar, delivered a presentation to officials at the Menlo Park headquarters, pointing out that the company was playing a role akin to that of the radio broadcasts that spread hatred during the

In 2011, the company asked the FEC [Federal Election Commission] for an exemption to rules requiring the source of funding for political ads to be disclosed. In filings, a Facebook lawyer argued that the agency “should not stand in the way of innovation.” Another default argument. It became a running joke among employees that Facebook could tilt an election just by choosing where to deploy its “I Voted” button.

The 2016 election was <supposed> to be good for Facebook. That January, fb COO and billionaire Sheryl Sandberg told investors that the election would be “a big deal in terms of ad spend,” comparable to the Super Bowl and the World Cup. According to Borrell Associates, a research and consulting firm, candidates and other political groups were on track to spend $1.4 billion online in the election, up ninefold from four years earlier.

During the campaign, Trump used Facebook to raise two hundred and eighty million dollars. Just days before the election, his team paid for a voter-suppression effort on the platform. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, it targeted three Democratic constituencies—“idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans”—sending them videos precisely tailored to discourage them from turning out for Clinton.

***Theresa Hong, the Trump campaign’s digital-content director, later told an interviewer, “Without Facebook we wouldn’t have won.”***

Facebook admits a pro-Trump media outlet used artificial intelligence to create fake people and push conspiracies.

In September of 2017, after Robert Mueller obtained a search warrant, Facebook agreed to give his office an inventory of ads linked to Russia and the details of who had paid for them. In October, Facebook disclosed that Russian operatives had published about eighty thousand posts, reaching a hundred and twenty-six million Americans.

Last year, Facebook spent $11.5 million on lobbying in Washington, ranking it between the American Bankers Association and General Dynamics among top spenders. Money…I mean, power and greed…along with behavior modification technology… pretty much defines how we landed here. FB is the epicenter of persuasive technology.

#2020 is going to be a ride. Buckle up. Stay vigilant. Be proactive consumers of news and information. Take the Pro-Truth pledge. And V O T E. It is imperative we remember our democracy is fragile and it fails without ‘we the people.’ Activist Greta Thunberg wrote today, “This coming decade humanity will decide it’s future. Let’s make it the best one we can. We have to do the impossible. So let’s get started.”

I’ll miss you, my fb friends. Happy New Year. Be safe. Only peace.

~

[In context of fb’s persuasive behavior modification techniques, my pages will stay active for about 30 days and then evaporate. If I log on anytime during those 30 days post depletion, the pages will re-activate, so I won’t be able to read any comments to my final fb post. Just email me, dayle.cafe@icloud.com, follow me on twitter, @DayleOhlau, or my website, daylescommunitycafe.com. ♡]

protruthpledge.org

Ram Dass

December 23, 2019

April 6, 1931~December 22, 2019

“We’re fascinated by the words, but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”

“Compassion refers to the arising in the heart of the desire to relieve the suffering of all beings.”

 Unconditional Love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.

jaijaijai

Compassion & Politics

December 3, 2019

‘One of my first rules of politics is: people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.’

-Sean McElwee, founder of Data for Progress

From Sarah Ivy Arters.

August 23, 2019

May our prayers and our altars come together to calm the spirits of the fire in the Amazon – Sacred Temple of mystery and native jungle, lung of mother earth, place of power, home of ancestral tribes!

May our songs call the sacred water of rain, which are heard by the guardians of this place!!

Let human beings open the heart, to wake up and not sleep, to honor mother earth with each of our acts and not allow this to happen more times. Let’s send love, strength and peace to the peoples, to the animals, to the ancient trees…

Let us know in every way possible to listen to us, we need to echo the order of so many indigenous peoples who have already been giving alarm signs on the atrocities that are committed in the name of development.

How many more places have to be devastated for the ” good of humanity “, for the ” well being ” misunderstood of societies? Shattered by the policies of incapable governments! Let’s ask our authorities to act in favor of life and not against it!!

Let us act to the extent of our possibilities!! from our prayer, from our altar, from our sacred matrices that give life..

Let us remember that we are one being… that we are the extension of mother earth and what happens in it, anywhere happens in our body!


Fr. Richard Rohr, Center for Action & Contemplation:

Nonviolence is the universal ethic at the heart of creation.

 

 

Shoes & Practice

June 25, 2019

‘The Golden Rule is so basic, so logical, so easy to agree with, yet so utterly difficult to practice! One way to start is to simply put ourselves in the other’s shoes, to practice empathy and sympathy. Practice is really the operative word, for empathy does require practice. It takes many intentional efforts before we can make it a habit.’

Day by Day with St. Francis, by Peter A. Giersch [2015]

If we just keep hold of each other, you grasping the young one and I the old, we could revolve together like ´*.¸.• .¸. ¸.☆¨ .¸.¸¸.☆’s.

New Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke

Thoughts and meditations.

May 19, 2019

The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.

-Mark Nepo

It is the tending of our own souls that invites the natural process of love to begin. I remember my very first tumble into love. I found such comfort there that, like Narcissus, I became lost in how everything other than my pain was reflected in his beauty. All the while, I was addicting my own worth, empowering him as the key to my sense of joy.

If I have learned anything through the years, it is that, though we discover and experience joy with others, our capacity for joy is carried like a pod of nectar into our very own being. I now believe that our deepest vocation is to  root ourselves enough in this life that we can open our hearts to attract others. In other words, in being so thoroughly who we are, an inner essence is released that calls others to experience our personal light.

It seems the very job of being is to ready us for such love.

In this way, the Universe continues through the unexpected coming together of blossomed souls.

So if you can, give up the want of another and be who you are, and more than not, love will come at the precise moment you are simply in love with you. [Nepo]

Identify one trait makes you feel good about who are are: your laugh, your simile, your ability to listen, or the sound of your voice.

Notice how this effects others.

These small moments are the beginnings of love. They do not yet have definition.

Take a moment. Give thanks for your small goodness and for the potential love of others.


A hunger drives us.

We want to contain it all in our naked hands,

our bribing sense, our speechless hearts.

We want to become it, or offer it-but to whom?

We could hold it forever-but, after all,

what can we keep?

Not the beholding, so slow to learn.

Not anything that has happened here.

Nothing.

There are hurts. And, always, the hardships.

And there’s the long knowing of love-all of it

unsayable.

Later,

amidst the stars,

we will see: these are better unsaid.

-Rainer Maria Rilke, from the Ninth Duino Elegy


Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle. 

-Plato

Science of Mind/Ernest Holmes:

This was the Christ speaking, the son begotten of the only Father-the Son of God. Humble in his humanity, compassionate in his tenderness, understand the frailties of the human mind, he let the Great Spirit speak through him, in words of love and sympathy. He proclaimed his divinity through his humanity and taught that all men are brothers.

Rev. Dr. David Goldberg:

The Sanskrit word karuna is translated as compassion, which means active sympathy or the willingness to bear the pain of others. Closely related to karuna is metta, loving kindness.

It’s important to remember also that genuine compassion is rooted in prajna or wisdom. Prajna is the realization that the separate self is an illusion. This takes us back to not attaching our egos to what we do, expecting to be thanked or rewarded.

In Essence of the Heart Sutra, His Holiness the Dalai Lama writes, “According to Buddhism, compassion is an aspiration, a state of mind, wanting others to be free from suffering. It’s not passive-it’s not empty alone-but rather an empathetic altruism that actively strives to free others from suffering. Genuine compassion must have both wisdom and loving kindness. That is to say, one must understand the nature of the suffering from which we wish to free others (this is wisdom), and one must experience deep intimacy and empathy with other sentient beings (this is loving kindness). [Right Action and Compassion, Barbara O’Brien, April 2018]

 

 

Holiday Love.

December 6, 2018

“Many of us are longing to experience a season of joy, but we feel winter’s darkness spreading in the midst of relentless violence, cruelty, and dehumanization. Here at the Revolutionary Love Project, we believe that if we pause to breathe together, we can find wisdom, even joy, inside the struggle.

This holiday season, we are excited to offer you a short series of video conversations with thought leaders in our movement who offer deep wisdom — Parker Palmer, America Ferrera, Sharon Brous, Traci Blackmon and more.

Here is your first gem! A conversation with author, activist, teacher and luminary Parker Palmer and our founder Valarie Kaur at Middle Church’s 2018 Revolutionary Love Conference. Parker and Valarie have developed a remarkable intergenerational friendship: He offers her insights drawn from decades of experience; she inspires him with a next-generation vision of fighting for justice. In the course of their friendship, Parker has come to call Valarie’s framework for Revolutionary Love “the new non-violence.”

Watch their conversation before a live audience as they reflect on life and death and love.”

http://valariekaur.com/2018/12/wisdom-parker-palmer-holiday-treasure-chest#video

Einstein, too.

October 29, 2018

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. [One] experiences [oneself] . . . as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of [one’s] consciousness. . . . Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. —Albert Einstein

“If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light” (Luke 11:34). That’s why the Buddha and Jesus say with one voice, “Be awake.” Jesus talks about “staying watchful”, and “Buddha” means “I am awake” in Sanskrit. Richard Rohr

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