Monday, February 10, 2014

COMPASSIONATE CITIES (GREATER)ATLANTA: What is compassion and what can we do to make our cities rich with it?

THIS IS MY ATLANTA! I love the Atlanta metro area and want to know what actions I can take to make my community more compassionate.  This photo was taken from the back of the Carter Center by the Chapel door on my way home from a stimulating discussion about compassion. (photo by Hallelujah Truth)
Hallelujah for COMPASSION and for following the golden rule: 


ATLANTA IS MOVING IN THE DIRECTION OF COMPASSION! Instead of being a city too busy to hate (our current slogan), why not be a loving, compassionate city? For, if we had more time, would we then "hate"?. (photo is a "screen shot" from Compassionate Atlanta's Facebook page)

On the first Sunday of February 2014, my Chiboogamoo and I attended an event hosted by Compassionate Atlanta (FB Page HERE)with 300 people at the Carter Center here in Atlanta. The goal was for those of us from different cities in the Atlanta area (For example, my husband and I are from Decatur, a six mile drive from Midtown) to come up with ideas of how we could be more compassionate.  
COMPASSIONATE CITIES (GREATER) ATLANTA! We sat in small groups around tables to discuss "cafe" style this question: "What can we do to make greater Atlanta a more compassionate circle of cities?". (photo by Hallelujah Truth)

This event began with singing! And there was singing all through the afternoon led by Gayanne Geurin! Here is an example of us singing, "If I Had a Hammer":  

Probably because I was taking photos and notes with my Ipad just in case I wanted to blog about the event later (as I am doing now), the participants at my table asked me to be the note taker when our cafe style discussion began. Just in case you aren't familiar with this method of community discussion, here are the principles:

Set the context
Create a hospitable space
Explore questions that matter
Share collective discoveries
Listen together for insights
Encourage everyone's contributions
Connect diverse perspectives

Our question to discuss was this:
CAFE STYLE DISCUSSION! Here I am reading back to my discussion group our ideas about how we might make Atlanta a more compassionate circle of cities. (photo by Compassionate Atlanta)

  • These were some of the ideas from my group:
  • Define what compassion is and understand it
  • Have compassion for yourself, first and foremost
  • Travel outside your community and meet people who are different from you
  • Build an art project across communities that celebrates compassion
  • Establish "Golden Rule" clubs in schools and communities
  • Lead a sustainable life, get enough rest and take care of the Earth
  • Validate the importance of compassion
  • Make compassion "actionable" so that we know how to "enact" it
  • Give incentives in schools and communities to be compassionate
  • Acknowledge "Compassion Heroes"
  • Have compassion festivals that bring communities together
  • Have a compassionate cities (greater) Atlanta area newsletter that connects the cities
After we met two times in this cafe style form of discussion, we then shared ideas with the group of 300. It was amazing how many of our ideas were similar! Before we left, we were asked to commit to compassionate action in several different ways: 
Jimmy Carter (photo by Ruth Schowalter)

1. Sign the Charter for Compassion (you readers can do that HERE)
2. Ask elected officials to adopt the compassionate charter and declare becoming a compassionate city
3. Identify and invite an organization to become a charter for compassion partner
4. Make your commitment to compassion real (like I am blogging about it on Coffee with Hallelujah, or go to and click engage to share your story)
5. Attend the Morehouse Compassion Celebration on April 3, 2014. Karen Armstrong will be the guest speaker.
That's Coffee With Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me and share your ideas about being compassionate? Will you sign the Charter for Compassion? I did and so did Chiboogamoo!
I LOVE DIVERSITY! Love just pours out of me when I meet someone who is different from me and open to my difference and wants to talk, share, and understand our differences. (photo by kind compassionate participant)


  1. What a wonderful event!! Thank you so much for blogging about your experience - LOVE it!!!

    1. I hope you can participate in the next event Christine.

  2. wonderful launch gathering...I shared the link on the Art and Shambhala Principle FB page:

    1. Thanks Cecelia! You and I will continue to discuss this topic...won't we!