Building Bridges of Compassion

Be a blessing to others by building bridges of compassion.healing, peace, bridges

Children who develop strong, caring relationships with all the people and living things around them will be more grounded and ultimately more prepared to function in, and meaningfully contribute to, an increasingly complex society. – Mark Sorensen 

These are simple, yet profound ideas. The world has enough conflicts. Can we use our talents and gifts to help build bridges of compassion with kindness, service, and communication? Simple kindness expressed through small actions can have a big cumulative effect. I’m learning to live my life more from a place of sacred service where the guiding question becomes “how may I be of service?”

This intention led to my writing this post. I’m frustrated by the outpouring of hate and judgment following the incidents in Charlottesville, Virginia. Here is a post on changing the world with simple acts that gave me the idea.

With the world news filled with stories of fear, hate, protests, division, and war, this seems more important than ever.

The recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, where I attended college, bring up many feelings. The web is filled with stories proclaiming the evil of the white supremacists and their actions. I feel sad that we still live this way. I’m referring not only to the racism, injuries, and hateful actions, but also the hateful and divisive responses from the rest of the world. Filling up our blogs and social media with posts about how horrible the racists are does nothing to heal our country. This only adds to the hate, division, and separation. The truth is we are all connected and need to find ways to heal and include everyone in our hearts, minds, and communities.

How do we build bridges of compassion and community?

We find ways to come together in peace and acceptance, embracing our differences as part of what makes life interesting. The truth is we are all one human and world family. Yes, when a family member acts out in ways that are harmful, we need to take action. But maybe instead of punishment, calling them out, ranting about how horrible they are, maybe there is a more enlightened and compassionate response.

Maybe as the Course in Miracles suggests, they are calling for help in the only way they know how. Maybe they need our love and compassion. Teachers and prophets have long professed the need to turn the other cheek, love thy neighbor, or offer loving kindness no matter what. These are nice ideas, but how do we live them in our daily life?

The approach used by the Navajo might be useful. This article on Peacemaking the Navajo way highlights their use of inclusion, listening, and relationships to build harmony in their community, especially during conflict.

How do we include the protesters in Charlottesville in our circles of compassion?

The question also reminds me of the African concept of Ubuntu which means “I am because you are.” Community and connection are what makes us human.

One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu – the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality – Ubuntu – you are known for your generosity.” – Desmond Tutu

There are tribes in Africa that respond very differently when a community member misbehaves. Instead of punishing or isolating them, they come together as a community to give them love and help them heal.

Apologies in advance to my liberal friends, but I believe that publicly calling out people and their actions do not help heal the problem or the people involved. If hate and racism exist, which clearly they do, then we have a problem to heal as a community. It won’t happen by proclaiming how horrible they are or shunning them. And it is not a reason to start another war, whether that is a war of words or actions.

Maybe instead of protesting that which we find disagreeable, we can look for common ground. We can reach out to people we don’t understand or agree with and invite them into our hearts. Or we can have conversations that might lead to a connection or the realization of our shared humanity. If you choose to reach out to someone that you don’t agree with or understand, this article on how to listen with compassion might help.

We can also use these public events as opportunities to heal ourselves. We can look inside to see where and who we are judging that is reflected in the actions we see that we don’t like in others.

Will you join me in finding practical ways to build bridges of compassion? This Pentatonix version of John Lennon’s classic song Imagine is a perfect song for peace, love, and inclusion.

Thanks for “listening” to me. 🙂 Peace out, Brad 

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30 thoughts on “Building Bridges of Compassion

  1. What a beautiful post, Brad, and so important for our times. These are hard concepts to put into action because the urge is mighty strong to stand up and confront acts of evil. But you are right, that calling out those who embrace hatred, isn’t going to change minds or heal the rifts.And if change is the goal, there has to be another way worth trying. Inspiring, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this version of ‘Imagine’ – a song I want played at my funeral 🙂 Compassion, empathy, understanding our interconnectedness are the only ways we can move towards any peaceful understanding. We can fight back at every slight, but ultimately that just causes more horror. Thank you Brad for this very beautifully written and well thought out post. I must appreciate. Sending hummingbird hugs. Janet 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The road you propose we follow is certainly the more challenging Brad. It’s easy, popular, and almost innate to lash out in anger when we have been hurt or wronged.
    But while the road you (and the Beatles) propose is more challenging, its more likely to get us to our destination.
    And I loved this video!
    Thanks Brad for standing strong against the popular current.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is a beautifully written and expressed post, Brad. “Can we use our talents and gifts to help build bridges of compassion with kindness, service, and communication?” It seems so easy, and the sad thing is I truly believe it is this easy. The one reason it cannot and will not happen (at least in the short term): politics. I do not know if I’ve ever been so put off by the ability of mankind to make things so complicated and convoluted. You show such a great path for us to get where we need to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. IAM walking by your side Brad… Compassion was my word this year that IAM truly understanding. Only when we each open our hearts and see the bigger picture can we be the IAM presence with others… who choose to continue playing the game… no judgement as everyone experiences life until it awakens them. In the meantime our peaceful and harmonious presence will be felt by them and will help speed up their heart opening. So there is nothing to do, but enjoy our life and glow our light. Much love, Barbara x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brad, this has to be one of your best posts.. Coming straight from your heart.. And I agree, we should be joining together in healing, not pointing fingers..
    This sentence stood out for me
    ” The truth is we are all connected and need to find ways to heal and include everyone in our hearts, minds, and communities.”,, And I have yet to follow up on your links provided but I will be interested in doing so later this evening when I have more time to read..

    Wishing you a Peaceful Day Brad
    Sue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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