Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | November 15, 2009

Wonderful Initiatives in Abundance

Either it’s because the work I do involves me in being exposed to so many wonderful initiatives I’m just getting used to them, or it’s because I’m becoming jaded in my old age, but I have a confession to make…a part of me (and only a part) groans when I get yet another petition, or message that calls on everybody to be good in some way. It seems so obvious doesn’t it? We don’t have to keep affirming that we want peace and love and so on do we? I’ve sat through some talks where the only message seems to be ‘we want more peace, more love, we must be nicer and so on.’ Well of course! Can we now move on to the practical details of how we can actually realize these ideals?

So when I got an email about the new initiative started by Karen Armstrong called ‘The Charter for Compassion’ my first reaction was ‘Well here’s another one’. But then I remembered a book of hers I have: ‘The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions’ which surveys that fascinating period when religious thinking took a leap forward, and the Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus, Confucius, and the Greek philosophers were busy feeding new ideas into the Collective. Armstrong’s work is really good, and when I looked beyond the initial presentation of the Charter (whose videoclip is given below) I saw that indeed practical initiatives are flowing from this idea. To see the website go here.

The internet is helping initiatives like this work more effectively. There is another one that also seems to facilitate effective action, and uses the power of the web. It’s called ‘Buy 1 Give 1’ and enables people to easily set up arrangements so that with every purchase a donation is made:

This is how they explain it: ‘At Buy1GIVE1 we’re ‘crazy’ enough to be creating a different world; one where we’re all playing a part in making a difference. It’s a world where every purchase makes a difference. For example:
Every time you buy a book, a tree is planted;
Every time you dine out, a hungry person gets fed;
Every time you visit the doctor, someone in need receives care.’

I’ve been looking for a project that links publishing with tree-planting in this direct one-to-one way. We’re going to use it for the next book the Oak Tree Press publishes (Journeys of the Soul – Nuinn’s biography hopefully to be released early next year). See the Buy1Give1 site here.


Responses

  1. Thanks for posting this, Philip. And for the Buy1 Give 1 link which is new to me. Many years ago as part of my initiation I pledged to spend the same amount of money to help the starving that I spent on going out to dinner. I am so glad something more expansive and organised is now in place across the world!! THANK YOU 🙂

  2. But we must also learn to exercise compassion for all living beings. Ths is a more complex and controversial position for it involves the humility of seeing that human beings may not always come first.

  3. So, London Elf, are you going to decide which person(s) has/have to die for a greater cause?
    Interesting; where have I heard such thoughts before? Only, then they didn’t carry the guise of compassion…


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