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.
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?
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.
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!