Living with Compassion in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2021

Compassion insists we focus on protecting and supporting our precious pregnant parents, babies, children, and young families by ensuring they have the resources needed to thrive. 

Dr. Gábor Máté – Transgenerational trauma, stressed environment, and child’s diagnosis call us to create safe spaces for the thousands of homeless people living among us. 

Compassion calls us to recognize that many of us may struggle with anxiety, depression, grief, illness, hunger, loneliness, and pain.

Compassion calls for us to transform our current hypercompetitive mindset, which favors massive wealth accumulation for a handful of people over the quality of life for all. 

Compassion helps us awaken to the power and beauty of relationships. 

Compassion calls us to accept our unique role in the Great Web of Life. 

Compassion calls us to encourage, love, and support our frail elderly, especially to be with all who are dying and suffering from grief. 

Here is the message from the Wisdom Weavers of the World

Self-compassion calls us to recognize the suffering we cause ourselves by staying in dangerously toxic relationships and toxic work environments because all we know is fear, scarcity, and self-sacrifice. 

Compassion calls us to acknowledge and balance the pain of excluding, shaming, and rejecting others whilst acknowledging our reality that humans are capable of abuse and cruelty. We all deserve protection from abuse and cruelty.

Compassion calls us to heal the intense suffering and pain generated over centuries, and even millennia, of intergenerational trauma. All involved acknowledge that reconciliation and healing are exhausting, challenging, essential, and work, and this process is unending.

Compassion calls us to acknowledge the terrible pain aligned with death by suicide and all traumatic and violent causes of death and loss. 

Compassion calls us to realize that while we all suffer at some time in our lives, some of our sisters and brothers are experiencing relentless suffering and trauma. 

Compassion calls us to imagine walking many miles in our sister’s and brother’s boots, moccasins, and shoes to counteract our egoic tendency to become entitled, indignant, and incapable of understanding the perspectives of others. 

Self-compassion calls us to acknowledge our suffering and protect our warm hearts from exhaustion and overwhelm, as Dr. Kristin Neff is also teaching. 

Compassion calls us to reach out for encouragement and support when we need this and to cultivate compassion for our decision-makers, essential and front-line workers in this time of the pandemic. 

Compassion calls us to reach out to family members, friends, and neighbors, including our young athletes, artists, creatives, dancers, musicians, and performers, along with their coaches, educators, parents, guardians, mentors, and all who work to create, organize, and administer programs for youth in our communities. No one has been untouched by the extra suffering and many challenges caused by this COVID-19 pandemic.

H. H. the Dalai Lama – Live life with Compassion

Compassion calls us to encourage and support all who work in hospitality, retail, tourism, and transportation. All who advise, coach, lead, and mentor people whose lives and livelihoods have been adversely affected by this dreadful pandemic.

Compassion calls us to wake up to the suffering we cause by allowing inequality to continue to grow. Compassion calls us to oppose calls for austerity at times of great hardship and need.

Compassion calls us to cultivate resilience and to know, whatever happens, cultivating compassion and kindness will always help us on our journey.

Compassion calls us to do all we can to save our rivers and oceans. 

Compassion invites us to recognize and overcome our normal human biases, misconceptions, and misunderstandings. As human beings, we are all imperfect and biased.

Compassion calls us to bring our bias into our consciousness and cultivate restraint as individuals and as a society to lower our tolerance for abuse, cruelty, greed, retributive justice, punishment, and torture. 

Compassion calls us to seek restorative justice whenever people and other conscious life forms are hurt and harmed and to peacefully transform our current abusive and cruel economic, legal, and penal systems, locally, nationally, and globally. 

Compassion calls for global changes in our perspective of what it means to be human and to change our misconceptions and misunderstandings. This has led us, as educated moderns, to create the most massive levels of human inequality in history. 

Compassion calls us to open our hearts and minds; to ask ourselves why we cannot find the courage and strength needed to urgently address the ravages of climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and our penchant for creating chemical, cultural, emotional, and plastic pollution.

If we are scared by the pain and suffering caused by this COVID-19 pandemic, how scared will we be to face the chaos and disruption caused by massive storms, wildfires, drought, destruction, and melting polar ice caps?

Compassion calls us to a paradigm shift in how we relate to each other and the natural world. 

Compassion calls for us to provide a Universal Basic Income to every child, woman, and man. To simplify our taxation system and tax everyone fairly. 

Compassion calls for us to change our economic goals and move past the disastrous use of the Gross National Product and Gross Domestic Product. Why do we not choose to make the elimination of food and heat insecurity, hunger, homelessness, and the associated pandemic level of stress-induced chronic illness that we are enduring our economic goals?

Compassionate and wise billionaires everywhere are asking to be allowed to pay their fair share of taxes. Massive inequality and monopolies never lead to peace, order, and good government. They stifle innovation. We must focus on debating and addressing income ratios and our inadequate minimum wages. 

Compassion requires our legal eagles, policymakers, politicians, and tax inspectors to focus their attention on tax evasion and fraud among our super-elite, and refrain from harassing poor, middle-and higher income individuals, couples, and families. 

Compassion calls on all who work for corporations to refrain from harassing those already burdened by disability, illness, and grief.

Our current social understanding of the challenge of caring for an ill relative lacks compassion and wisdom. It is impossible to work full-time to earn one’s living whilst providing direct care to an ill child, partner, or spouse. I almost died attempting to do this, and many caregivers die prematurely. 

As a society, our cold and callous indifference to grief, including the suffering of children who lose a sibling or parent(s); parents who lose a child or children; those who lose a partner or children; and people of all ages who experience multiple losses, is terrifying. 

Our current legal system cruelly grants each of us only three days of unpaid leave after the death of a partner, spouse, or child.  Fortunately, many individuals do acknowledge the devastation of grief and are supportive. We all grieve differently. Working is an emotional salve for many, but not all. Where is our compassion and insight into the ravages of grief?

Our dying oceans cry out for our care and attention.

Compassion calls us to invest in creating meaningful employment in much-needed biodiversity, biodegradable, and clean energy-related industries. 

Compassion calls us to transform how we focus our current industrial and technologically obsessed systems to become truly life-affirming, regenerative, and restorative and to affirm people and nature over profit and pain and the couch potato lifestyle so many of us fall prey to.

Compassionate fish harvesting and farming seaweed and shellfish will benefit our wonderful harvesters working in every phase of our critically important seafood industry.  

Compassion and the joy of eating wonderful wild fish call all of us to save our wild fish, our mighty rivers, and our magnificent oceans.

Compassionate animal and poultry farming will benefit farmers, fur-bearing and farm animals, and birds. As a society, we need to pay attention to how we kill animals, birds, and fish to ensure we do it with compassion and the intention to minimize the fear, pain, and suffering these living beings will experience. 

Compassionate regenerative food production, harvesting, and forestry will allow us to eat well, improve our health, reconnect with the natural world, and improve our collective quality of life and health.

Human nature is complex. In 2021, we know all human babies are born with an infinite capacity for compassion and kindness. We know compassion and kindness are infectious. Sadly, we also know humans are born with a seemingly infinite capacity for abuse and cruelty. In which direction we head is our choice.

Sincerely,

Dr. Frances Scully

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