We reviewed the work of many researchers, scholars, and thought leaders working in the field of kindness and compassion.
We seek collaborators to help synthesize and share new information to transform our culture that will lead to the flourishing of both human and non-human life to the Seventh Generation. We also seek collaborators to pilot and study the impact of integrating this knowledge into any and all courses and curricula taught in our beautiful land.
We seek collaborations with educators, parents, and community partners who share our interest in teaching, evaluating, and continuously improving teaching skills and tools on the following themes for every course and curriculum taught in our beautiful land.
We seek to create resources and fundraise by developing and selling merchandise that aligns with and furthers our mission.
As founder of BeCompassionate NL, I believe the innovation needed in 2021 is to learn how to collectively activate our enormous individual and human capacity to be compassionate and kind, to reconnect with our human sisters, brothers, and all nature.
As a very disconnected modern, I am awed and inspired by the wonderful examples of compassion for our living earth shown by local artists Megan Samms and Burlington Tooshkenig, creative Kim Todd, founder of Guide to the Good, and many other compassion activists who light up our lives.
Our current dominant global culture favours the compartmentalization of every facet of our lives.
To compartmentalize, we learn to divide and categorize every aspect of our lives as individuals, communities, and societies. Compartmentalization and structure are essential for us to maintain order and harmony in our very complex world. In modern western hospitals, for example, a skilled neurosurgeon operating alone cannot safely perform heart surgery. The neurosurgeon needs to communicate and work well with an entire team. Working with her team, she can provide great compassion and safe care to her patients.
In 2021, we need to be able to connect and make long-term plans with people who may have very diverse worldviews. Many of us need to relearn how to live in harmony with the natural world. To achieve our compassion-worthy goals, we need to create the shared language, narrative, platforms, and worldviews required to begin, in a healthy interconnected way, solving the complex problems created by our disconnect from nature and other people, as well as the hurt and harm our decisions cause others.
The well-intentioned efforts of the City of St. John’s to develop a multi-purpose path are one example of the complexity of our challenges. The first plan, along with others, went back to the drawing board. In 2021, when so few of us are ecologically, financially, and scientifically literate, creating inclusion whilst also serving the needs of nature takes effort, patience, discussion, and engagement. Nationally, the challenge of “Hard Butter” for our bakers and foodies has been traced to the novel practice of adding palm oil to dairy feed in Canada. In choosing to add palm oil to our cattle feed, we Canadians failed to show compassion for the devastation we are contributing to the Rain Forests of Indonesia.
Hopefully, in 2021, with support from Patagonia and others, as we continue to address systemic racism, more of us will come to know and recognize the extraordinary courage and sacrifice of the 363 Bishnoi women who were the original tree huggers. These brave villagers sacrificed their lives in defence of their trees in the Kesherli massacre, which took place in India, in 1730.
Hopefully, with help from Diana Beresford-Kroeger, an Irish Canadian scientist, more of us will fall back in love with trees. Hopefully, like those amazing Bishnoi women, we moderns will learn to cultivate compassion and (loving) kindness for our remaining boreal forests, and for all the beautiful animals, birds, and fish the forests support and protect.
Very helpful for me, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, our Chief Medical Officer, provides an elevating example of “embodied” compassion, kindness, and science-based leadership. Also, our excellent NL Accord Task Force is a visionary example of democratic engagement.
The innovation I seek to champion in 2022 is to open our local Overton Window to embrace the cultivation of compassion, democracy, ecological literacy, relative equality, inclusion, and a deep connection to people, animals, birds, fish, trees, and all things living on our planet.