Compassionately Blessed.

Today, I am participating in an incredibly inspirational global blogging movement called 1000 Voice Speak for Compassion where a thousand bloggers are writing about compassion.

I have spent the entire day reading through over 60 of these posts, which though a drop in to the proverbial ocean, I feel myself enriched, nurtured and like my heart and soul have richly fertilised through very intimate stories of hurt, pain trauma and loss. How someone’s kindness touched their hearts and brought a light through the incredible darkness. I have read very concise posts with some excellent tips on how to exercise more compassion in our lives because, as other bloggers pointed out, compassion is a verb. There have also been a lot of people looking around them and feeling a sense of despair as they observe and feel immersed in a culture that either doesn’t care, has compassion fatigue or is simple the “ME generation”. At the same time, these compassionate souls are determined to flow against this tide and be the difference.

Doubly Blessed

Doubly Blessed

At the same time I have appreciated all that I have read and hopefully soaked it up like a sponge because as I said, I really felt touched, changed encouraged by what I read, I am also conscious that I haven’t even bitten off the tip of the iceberg. I want to read all 1000 posts even though this seems like such an impossibility. But you see, I don’t want to miss out. This project has brought bloggers together from right around the world and each of us has I’m sure tried to produce our very best and surely most inspirational work. This is the “if I could only write one post before I die, this is what I’d say” type of stuff…life-changing, unforgettable and something to cling onto like a limpet to a rock. If you haven’t tried getting a limpet off a rock at the beach, it’s pretty much impossible. They cling very, very tight!!

I have made a few observations on my travels today:

1) Thank you to those who use first names on their blog. So many bloggers don’t have first names or even no name at all. Here we are writing about the importance of compassion without getting personal. I almost always leave a comment on a blog because I want people to that someone has read their work and appreciated it. Comments make my day and being an advocate for the Golden Rule, I like to treat people the way I like to be treated. My name is Rowena although I also go by Roweeee and I like to start all my comments with a “Hi….” While just leaving names blank seems to be such a part of blogging etiquette, if you are reading this, I consider you more enlightened. We don’t need to be afraid of each other or ourselves and a first name isn’t going to announce your whereabouts.

2) While it’s all very well to write about compassion, we also need to read these posts ourselves…as many of the 1000 posts as we can. We will be so much better people for it. Moreover, what’s the point of spreading compassion out into the world if we don’t read and absorb our own medicine. The change starts with us. Writing really is in so many ways a monologue of talk and to be truly compassionate, we need to listen and in this context that means read! Read! Read! Yes, and respond writing comments and share and exchange perspectives and personal parts of ourselves. We need to be the change!

It now seems like writing the post was the easy part!

3) I have noticed a mix of posts sharing positive experiences of people being compassionate to them through hard times and how the blogger was also there for someone. Came to their rescue. There have also been quite a few laments about a lack of compassion in our world and also the widespread prevalence of compassion fatigue both due to overexposure on TV or charitable fundraising efforts.

I would like to remind people of the very public outpourings of love, compassion and practical support which really warm your hearts and restore your faith in human nature. Here are a few examples:

The Brisbane Floods 2011:

Queenslanders played on during the flood clean-up.

Queenslanders played on during the flood clean-up.

When severe flooding devastated Brisbane in January, 2011 more than 26,000 Brisbane homes were flooded: 11,900 completely submerged and another 14,700 were partially flooded. This crisis resulted in the creation of a volunteer army to help people clean the stinky river mud out of their home and clean the place up. The response was incredible with volunteers even coming from inter-state. More than 22,000 people registered with Volunteering Queensland to help. Talk about compassion in action!!

The Paris March January 11, 2015

Huge Crowds March through Paris January 11, 2015

Huge Crowds March through Paris January 11, 2015

The huge floral tribute in Sydney’s Martin Place after the Sydney Siege in the Lindt Cafe in December, 2014.

Floral tributes in Martin Place:

Floral tributes in Martin Place:

It is important that int those times of doubt that we remember these moments were love and compassion have triumphed over hate, violence, natural disasters and more.

Through this celebration of compassion, we have sown the seeds of compassion on very fertile ground and we are now called on to nurture, water and feed those seeds to see them grow tall.

This post is part of a blessed initiative 1000 Voices for Compassion conjured up by the wonderful Yvonne Spence and Lizzi Rogers at Considerings. Please visit their blogs and consider joining this huge campaign. We could all use more compassion.

The link up hosts are:
Roshni AaMom
Kristi Rieger Campbell
Crystal Cook
Erin Fangboner
Gene’o Gordon
Jen St Germain Leeman
Michelle Liew
Lisa Listwa
Pooja S Mulleth
Katie Paul
Lizzi Rogers
Yvonne Spence
Leah Vidal
T.A. Woods

Love & Blessings,




22 thoughts on “Compassionately Blessed.

  1. herheadache

    I guess sites like WordPress are all about gravatars nowadays.
    Hi. My name is Kerry.
    I have another example for you.
    A few days ago, in Toronto, not far from me a boy of only three years wandered out in the freezing early morning, from his grandmother’s apartment. He was found later on that same morning, but he did not survive.
    Horrible tragedy, but since then I think it’s something like $100,000 has been raised for funeral expenses and for the family.
    Compassion comes from tragedy and it’s sad that it has to take that sort of thing, but it can cause more people to become more aware.
    Love your #1000Speak posts. Keep them coming.

  2. kelly L McKenzie

    Oh Rowena this is spot on. I love how you handled the 1000 Speaks by highlighting your observations of the over 60 that you read. I, too, want to read them all. That photo of the grimy Brisbaners (Brisbanites …?) huddled around the piano brought on a huge grin. Absolutely splendid. That is compassion in a nutshell. My heart ached with the Paris and Sydney ones. And I am reminded that while horrific things are happening daily, we will not be squashed. We will rise up in compassion and be the change. Thank you.

  3. jaklumen

    This is delightful, Rowena– Lizzi Rogers, who is one of the geniuses behind this blog event/movement, normally runs a blog hop called “Ten Things of Thankful” on the weekend, and your post is true to that experience.

    re #1: my first name is Jonathan, but “jaklumen” is authentically me. It is a unique username; search for it across the World Wide Web, and I assure you, the results point to me, and only me. I’d have to give my middle and last name with “Jonathan” to guarantee such results. So… I have little to hide, eh? I know my electronic trail is easily seen.

  4. roweeee Post author

    Thank you very much, Jaklumen. My son’s name is Jonathon but he’s known as Mister on the blog.I love Jaklumen as a name. It has real character.
    I’ll have to get onto Lizzie about that. We’re been chatting on our blogs for a bit and that is just the sort of thing I’d like to get involved in xx Rowena

  5. roweeee Post author

    Thank you very much, Kerry.
    It’s been interesting waking up this morning and seeing what’s top of mind after all that reading and commenting yesterday. I have admit by the end of the days I’m sure my eyes were flicking from all that screen time. It was, I admit, a bit of an indulgent day especially as the family was at home being a Saturday but most of the time they were happy doing their own thing. I did end up having to play shops with my daughter for an hour which I must admit I found a bit tedious despite writing about compassion. But I did play shops and I did it properly!!
    Being in the journalism field, have you heard anything about the two convicted Australian drug smugglers on death row in Indonesia? Firstly, I am curious about how much publicity their case is receiving overseas and secondly it is a case that really warrants strong public support because in the 9 years since their conviction, these men have changed so dramatically that they are no longer the same men. Given my own experience of brain surgery and neuroplasticity, I realised that this relatively new science could justify clemency and do so in a way that would save face for the INdonesian Governemnt. It’s not about arguing with the death penalty or their drug laws, it’s about these two men.
    Anyway, here’s a link to my post which includes historic background information. I largely write for an overseas audience and have to fill in the Australian context and gaps:
    By the way, I obviously loved that piano shot as well. I was intending to use a shot of volunteers wading through mud in gumboots but I couldn’t go past that one. My Mum’s family are from Queensland and owned pianos like that one and used to have soirees or sing songs around the old piano when my Mum was a girl. She had to go and kiss all her Great Uncle’s mates on the cheek and she loathed it. I can’t help wondering given what we know now whether she sensed something and kept her distance xx Rowena

  6. roweeee Post author

    THat’s aweful, Kerry. We had something similar happen here too although we had the opposite extreme: a two year old found dead in a hot car in the car park of a child care centre. I can’t quite understand how that came about. OUr children are so precious and we can lose them in a blink of an eye…no exaggeration!! xx Ro

  7. herheadache

    That happens here too, in the middle of summer. I can’t imagine how a parent could be so much in a hurry that they forget their child is in the backseat, or to be so ridiculous to think they can just run into a store.

  8. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Kath. I read about 40 posts yesterday and by the end of the day, my eyes were flickering and really not well. It was interesting too to see which posts stayed with me and there were a few very good ones with tips etc but of the stories, they were the ones where people really tore their hearts open and also had incredible attention to detail so I could really put myself in their shoes and relate. I’ll be posting these in the next couple of days.
    Meanwhile, we are installing a new stove and I’m helping my son with his guitar audition. At least, I was. I needed some breathing space xx Rowena

  9. roweeee Post author

    I don’t know how that incident came to pass and there is Police involvement although I get the feeling it’s something weird not malicious. As usual, we only get the sensational headlines and new stories flood in.

  10. roweeee Post author

    Ditto. That said, I am helping my son with his writing at the moment and the thing is to take a simple sentence and flesh it out. I personally need to simplify much of my writing but we need to try to get more than a couple of words out of him and this winds up my theatrical side and the sublime turns into the ridiculous but I think he’s starting to have some fun and get the hang of it.

  11. Louise

    Rowena – beautifully done! And I equally enjoyed your observations and comments on reading the many posts out there (as I’ve been doing as well).

    I agree on the personal touch on blogs – (I’m Louise!) and leaving a comment to know you’ve been read and that your writing has been appreciated (it has!) I remember your initial post on the Sydney Siege last month – and was equally moved by the other examples you posted today. Reminders that people, on whole, are good – even in the face of awful things – that we can come together and speak together to say “we grieve with you” or “we’ll help you” – we never want the awful to happen, but that communities can still come together when it does reminds me that the good out there can outweigh the bad.

  12. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Louise. I have always tended to be overly anxious and so I’d seize on that one events, that one person and turn it into a catastrophe. I had a boss who used to say to me: Is that the 1% or the 99%? Usually, it was the 1% For awhile htere after the Lindt Siege I was thinking about how dreadful the world was…especially as the Pakistan massacre took place in the same week and a mother murdered 8 children here as well. It was feeling like evil was really closing in..and then there was Paris. However, when you look at things from the perspective of how the masses of people responded with kindness, compassion and love, the bad stuff is clearly in the minority. xx Rowena.

  13. Pingback: Compassionately Blessed. | 1000 Voices Speak Up...

  14. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Marina. I am enjoying your blog and experiencing a touch of Greece. I grew up in Sydney with a fairly strong Greek population so there’s exposure to the culture without much familiarity. I was getting quite hungry too! xx Rowena

  15. lorihenriksen

    Hi Rowena, What a beautiful idea 1,000 people writing about compassion. I have been the recipient of compassion that has changed my life and sustained me during difficult times. I strive to be compassionate in my daily interactions with everyone. It will be enlightening to read through some of the blogs. I’m still moving through the A-to-Z blogs, trying to read as many as possible. Thank you for stopping by.

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