Happy Birthday…1000 Voices for Compassion.

Twelve months ago, I joined up with an incredibly inspiring group of bloggers rising up against terrorism and hate in our world with a bold new project…1000 Voices for Compassion. This group seemingly sprung up after the terrorist attacks in Paris, bringing together bloggers from all around the world, who fought and continue to fight for all that is good in humanity.

Flowers at midday

Flowers Martin Place

My interest was also driven by a dreadful terrorist siege here in Sydney’s Lindt Cafe in Martin Place, which shut down the CBD and saw two precious people killed. Sydney-siders rose up and left flowers in Martin Place by the thousands just like thousands took to the streets of Paris marched, many under the banner: “Je suis Charlie”. I was stuck at home with a broken foot unable to pay my respects, feeling incredibly powerless and indeed shell shocked. What had happened to our beloved Sydney?

give peace a chance-yoko ono-lennon

These acts of a few were horrific but the incredible response of the many said we do not accept such hate.  At the time, it really did feel like we needed another Woodstock. A new John Lennon to “Give Peace a chance” or perhaps even that the second coming couldn’t be too far away.

For me, 1000 Voices of Compassion met that need.

Back then, I knew nothing about blog shares and like-minded bloggers coming together regularly in online forums of sorts. However, I loved what I heard and joined to do what I know best…wielding my pen. I’m not too good with a sword and would no doubt injure myself in any attempt to save the world. Chop off my own foot! That’s not going to help anyone.

Jean Julien Peace for Paris

Jean Julien “Peace for Paris”

1000 Voices, therefore, provided me with a vehicle, a way for me to feel like I was doing something towards building a more diverse, inclusive community where people from all walks are valued, respected and embraced. I felt less alone. Less paralysed. I could do something. In my usual fashion, I could write about it. Moreover, through writing about the need for compassion, love and understanding in our world, instead of promulgating hate, I felt like part of a wind of change. That in the spirit of the pen being mightier than the sword, that words expressed via the pen, pencil or keyboard, could be mightier than the bullet.

I remember the excitement, the buzz as our very first 1000 Voices posts went live and what it meant to be a part of that. It was electric. I felt like I was joining a modern day Woodstock. We were taking a stand! We were one but we were many.

That was just the beginning.

On the 20th of every month since then, we’ve come together and shared our posts about various aspects of compassion.

The theme I probably found most moving and just incredible was Forgiveness, which was our theme for January 2016 link. This felt like the equivalent of feasting on superfoods for my soul and I felt so enriched. Incredibly blessed. My post Forgiving the Unforgivable addressed my struggle to forgive an auto-immune disease which has ravaged my life.

Right from that very first blog share, being part of 1000 Voices for Compassion has seriously opened my eyes and dramatically expanded my world. I am no longer just an Australian sitting in my chair in Sydney. I have become a citizen of the world with friends scattered yet bound together, all over the world. That’s such an incredible thing and I find myself telling my family about my friends in London, Paris, America like they were living next door, even though we’ve never met. Our world has become so much smaller and incredibly intimate

Through 1000 Voices for Compassion, we have indeed created our own village, which might seem a bit utopian but it is real.

I now tell my local friends that I’m part of an international group of bloggers writing about compassion and while that certainly sounds impressive, I’m quick to let them know that it’s a group anyone can join. It is not exclusive.

How many clubs let you join where they don’t care if you’re turning up in your pyjamas for a chat?

This is my kind of place!

What has being part of 1000 Voices of Compassion meant for you? Please leave a link and also mention a favourite post you’ve written or read.

Love and Blessings to you all!

xx Rowena

Rowena sun

Together we can spread more light throughout our world!




18 thoughts on “Happy Birthday…1000 Voices for Compassion.

  1. Pingback: Boarding the Coffee Express. | beyondtheflow

  2. carolschepper

    Yes – the more of us that join in, the better – none of us can do much alone, but together we do have power. And being able to participate in my pjs is a definite plus. 🙂

  3. Yvonne

    Oh this is just beautiful Rowena. Thanks so much for being part of 1000 Voices and I’m so pleased came at a time when you neede d it and that it’s meant so much to you.

  4. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Yvonne. It was quite a difficult time for me. I guess there’s that part of me who wants to be Superwoman and change the world but also that realization of my human frailty. I didn’t mention this is the post but there was also the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines MH17 in the Ukraine. That really affected me. Many of the Australians onboard were teachers and there were was also a family with 3 children. We sent red hearts on paddle pop sticks to their schools as a tribute. I photographed them at the beach and that’s the photo I used for my anniversary post. I actually have sunflower seeds from the crash site in the Ukraine which were collected by an Australian journalist and photographer. I missed planting season last year but we’ll plant them at the local high school this year. My son goes there.
    I am looking forward to reading your post. Thank you so much for getting this started maintaining the flame! xx Rowena

  5. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Monika. I know you are Sam are also doing your bit, even if Sam has his own ideas at times. Hope you have a great week too!
    xx Rowena

  6. trentpmcd

    It has been a very good year on #1000Speak, hasn’t it? I agree that we are part of the winds of change, even if it is still a gentle breeze. We are part of the face of hope instead of fear. And yes, all of the lovely people who participate, people from all over the world. I read or hear the news and feel so depressed, but then I read what other #1000Speakers are talking about and I get recharged. Here’s hoping that this will continue and grow for a long time to come.

  7. Yvonne

    Thanks so much for sharing the story of that beach photo. I wondered about it. It’s a sad reason for them, but a lovely thing to have done for the families of those lost. And that you have seeds from the crash site is also both sad and yet somehow gives a sense of life going on.
    Oh, and I can relate to what you say about wanting to be Superwoman and change the world, but also aware of our human frailty. Even without the sort of health issues you have, we can’t do it all alone. That’s why it’s so wonderful to have a core of enthusiastic Voices speaking for compassion! ❤

  8. roweeee Post author

    I agree with you about feeling recharged through 1000 speak. It would be impossible to get all of us from around the world together in one location and yet we can do that online and it’s so powerful getting such positively minded people together. It has to be making a difference! xx Ro

  9. roweeee Post author

    So many people I’ve touched base with for the anniversary feel the same way. I should also add that I feel a lot of compassion, love and acceptance here and that’s very important to me too. Take care and here’s looking forward to many more anniversaries xx Rowena

  10. herheadache

    From Australia to Canada.
    Glad to have connected with you through this over this past year.
    Both of us have physical barriers to feeling like we can make much of a difference, but we can do this.

  11. roweeee Post author

    Most definitely, my friend! I’m pleased to have connected with you as well. It was a really warm feeling reading that article and knowing you. Being able to put a face to the story but even more so, knowing you and knowing something of your story and what it all means.
    While dialysis is very intrusive, I used to have infusions of immunoglobulin every 3 weeks for 5 years. I quite enjoyed the time I was there chatting to people, hearing their stories, reading and I did a lot of writing…mostly in my journal.
    Actually, you’ll laugh at this. I am right handed and the veins are better in your writing arm. Needless to say, I wanted to write and so tried to get them to put it in the left. The poor nurses had terrible trouble trying to get the canula in and would search my hand like a water diviner looking for water in the desert. It wasn’t uncommon for me to leave with 3 of those circle band aids on my arms looking like I’d been attacked. The nurses were pretty understanding and supportive of my writing but quite often I was left reading and talking! No luck!

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