Tonight, I am thinking about compassion online and specifically on blogs. It is one year since 1000VoicesSpeakForCompassion was launched – the intention was to get a thousand bloggers together and spread compassion around the world.
The prompts for celebrating a year of #1000Speak are focussed on the effect that being involved with 1000VoicesSpeakForCompassion has had on writers. Writers are asked: Do you see things differently at all? Do you notice any changes around you ~ either in your circle of friends and family or in the wider world? How do you feel about what you see?
I don’t know the answers to any of the above as this is my first post for 1000VoicesSpeakForCompassion. Since I discovered 1000Voices and read several blog posts about Forgiveness (last month’s prompt), I have been noticing the compassionate replies I have come across while reading blog posts.
I have not been blogging or very long, but I have noticed that bloggers empathise with each other, especially in their own communities. Every weekend, bloggers write posts for blog events, sharing the ups and down of their week. Other bloggers read these posts and reply with kindness, understanding and compassion. They listen to each other, support each other, encourage each other, motivate each other and accept each other – unconditionally.
We are not necessarily talking here about old friends that have known each other for decades, or friends who phone or text each other several times a day and see each other at least once a week, or friends that grew up together and forged a lasting bond over many years. We are talking about friends from totally different backgrounds, different cultures, different countries and different political and/or sexual persuasions, different religions, different ages – all offering compassion and support when another blogger is in dire need.
There must be some hope for us all, if we can empathise with each other despite our differences.
Feeling inspired, I thought that I should try to commit one or more small acts of compassion every day. Clearly, I do not have to go looking very far. All I need to do is to switch on my computer and read my blogging friends’ posts. As I mentioned, I have not been blogging for very long, barely 6 months, and already I have been on the receiving end. When a very good friend committed suicide on the 31 of December, my blogging friends enveloped me in understanding and compassion, wheelbarrow loads full. It made a difference, a huge difference. Reading about how others handled similar situations helped me cope.
I realise that there are no doubt trolls waiting in the sidelines – I have been on the receiving end of that too – but the overwhelming compassion I have encountered online remains one of the main reasons why I continue to blog.
That, and initiatives like 1000VoicesSpeakforCompassion.
Certainly worth celebrating!
“For there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.” – Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
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