From Reaction to Response

Paul Morris

Without a doubt, we are living in unprecedented times. It seems throughout many parts of society, systems are caving in on themselves.

Within the scope of having to witness political events, that may or may not negatively impact us or those we love, or bearing witness to political circumstances we may or may not agree with, it is clear that one has to determine what will be the most suitable course of action.

During unsettling and uncertain times, when we react to something we don’t like, don’t agree with or don’t want, more often than not, immediate reactions can be unproductive knee-jerk reactions which further infuse emotionally charged situations; thus contributing to the very outcome one seeks to avoid.

Much of our lives is spent in reaction to others and to events around us.

“The truth is, we often react without thinking. It’s a gut reaction, often based on fear and insecurities, and it’s not the most rational or appropriate way to act.”

“Responding, on the other hand, is taking the situation in, and deciding the best course of action based on values such as reason, cooperation, and compassion.”

In the face of the current politically troubling times, not merely some of us, but all of us are being called to ask deeper questions.

How can we identify the best course of action to that which we deem intolerable, inexcusable, or unjust?

Will we continue to simply react, or will we rise to the occasion of this grand opportunity and consciously choose to respond?

The Charter for Compassion International Women and Girls Sector, along with partner organizations, has chosen to recognize and act upon the need for a greater inclusion of voices, and involvement of women in leadership in the global healing and transformation that is occurring.

For that purpose, they have chosen to consciously respond to the current politically troubling times by initiating a unique and timely Reaction to Response Webinar Series.

“Given the challenging times we are living in, the purpose of this series is to provide on-going discussions focused on responding rather than reacting to our current global state of affairs.”

“Through this year-long series, which will run from March 8th, 2017 thru February 21st, 2018, we intend to help shift from fear based reactions to care based responses, that is, learning from history in order to further lay the foundation for compassionate and care based communities.”

This series will provide the platform to:

1) Hear from, and be inspired by, “well-known” experts in the field, or grassroots and/or community leaders doing “cutting edge” work around creating a care and compassion-based reality for people and planet.

2) Through a pre- and post-call Facebook discussion, inspire and encourage community engagement at the local, national, and international levels.

Each month will introduce an overarching theme which will be supported by different topics, and hosted by a variety of speakers.

The theme for the month of March entitled Compassion and the Golden Rule and Activism, will speak to the underlying purpose of the Webinar Series as well as the basis for the Charter for Compassion as a whole.

March’s theme, Compassion and the Golden Rule and activism, will explore the “science of compassion and the role it plays in self- and societal- healing and activism. We begin by first understanding what compassion is and how we can embody it more deeply, followed by exploring the role it plays in our communities and how we can use it to make the world a better place.”

The first (March) Webinar Call topic entitled, Living Compassion: Training Mind, Body, and Spirit, will begin on March 8th at 8 a.m. Pacific Time (US)/11 a.m. Eastern Time (US).

This Webinar Call and topic will be led and facilitated by James Doty, MD, a Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and the Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Doty is also an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist having given support to a number of charitable organizations including Children as the Peacemakers, Global Healing, the Pachamama Alliance and Family & Children Services of Silicon Valley. He is on the Board of Directors of a number of non-profit foundations including the Dalai Lama Foundation, of which he is chairman and the Charter for Compassion International of which he is vice-chair. He is also on the International Advisory Board of the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Dr. Doty is the author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart (Penguin, 2016).

The second (March) Webinar Call topic entitled, Compassion in Action, will begin on March 22nd at 8 a.m. Pacific Time (US)/11 a.m. Eastern Time (US).

This Webinar Call and topic will be led and facilitated by Jon Ramer, Founder and Executive Director, Compassion Games.

Founder and “First Follower” of Compassion Games International, Ramer was moved by the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to focus his entrepreneurial energies on non-profit community organizing.

In 2008, Ramer was an organizational participant in The Seeds of Compassion, an event aligned with a visit to Seattle by H.H. Dalai Lama. As Executive Director of the Compassionate Action Network, Ramer conceived and implemented the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities. He is the co-author, with Phil Lane, Jr., of “Deep Social Networks and the Digital Fourth Way.”

Compassion asks, how can I serve to alleviate suffering?

“Love, respect and compassion cannot really be practiced in solitude. You need to be part of a group, a family, the class in school, the team at work, your community, city, country … the human race. Social and loving service cannot be performed without others.”

Karen Armstrong said, “Compassion is not an option, it’s a key to our survival,” and based on the heart, compassion is a high form of love.

There will always be external events that bother us, but the world has changed and grown because people have taken stands.

People who have taken stands made a conscious decision to respond differently and to have the courage to believe they could make a difference.

“It takes courage to think you can make a difference,” but now is the time to remember that “every change started with someone saying, ‘This can be better.’ Someone who said, ‘I can dream a different dream.’”

And if we learn to respond and not just react, we too can make a difference. We can make a conscious decision to make things better and not worse.

To register for the Webinar Series you can log onto the Reaction to Response page.

This is a “pay from the heart” series in which there are suggested donations.

However, if someone cannot afford a compassionate contribution, they can still register. No one will be turned away.

For more information you can also follow the Reaction to Response Facebook page.

If you know of others who may be interested in joining the Charter for Compassion Women and Girls Sector, or participating in the Webinar Series, please click the Recommend button. 💚

Charter for Compassion

We believe that a compassionate world is a peaceful world.

Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley

Written by | OWN Network Contributor | Author of "The Gift of Crisis"

Charter for Compassion

We believe that a compassionate world is a peaceful world.

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