Wednesday, July 31, 2019

COMPASSION: A Lab about Global and Local Cultural Impact!

Dr. Sandy Guzman-Foster, UIW Education; Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, UIW Ettling Center; Cristina Gonzalez, Compassion Leader, Monterrey, Mexico;  Mayor Ron Nirenberg; Sr. Adriana Calzada, CCVI, UIW staff; Dr. Barbara Aranda Naranjo, UIW Provost; Shahram Ebadfardzadeh, friend from the Mandaean tradition; Dr. Sherry Herbers, UIW Education; Prof. Michael Van Doren, UIW Nursing; Sr. Marichui Bringas, Incarnate Word Sister. 

How do we help create a world of good in the midst of a world of hurt?  Where do I see the most hurt in the world? How could I start to respond? How could we create the future?

Denny Sanford donated the University of California, San Diego, $100 million to study empathy and compassion  prompted by the Dali Lama’s emphasis on compassion.    

About 200 people gathered at the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio, Texas, for “COMPASSION: A Lab about Global and Local Cultural Impact! Among them Incarnate Word Sisters Marichui Bringas, Adriana Calzada, Jean Durel, and Martha Ann Kirk and our partners in ministry working at the University of the Incarnate Word, Dr. Barbara Aranda Naranjo: Provost, Dr. Sandy Guzman-Foster, Education; Dr. Sherry Herbers, Education; and Prof. Michael Van Doren, Nursing.

As part of the international Charter for Compassion movement, San Antonio has pledged to be a “City of Compassion.”  The night was to gather participants ideas about how to grow in compassionate action and to post those inviting the other 450 cities who have pledged compassion to also gather ideas.

An inner circle of leaders shared answers to questions and then the audience in groups of three also shared answers. Finally all were invited to text in their responses. Those could be read on the screen.

Leaders included San Antonio Mayor, Ron Nirenberg. Signer of the City Council's 2017 Resolution to be a Compassionate City. He is also the current chair of Sister Cities International and recently challenged all Sister Cities to become Compassionate Cities.  

Monterrey, Mexico, is a Sister City to San Antonio.  The leader in the Compassionate movement there Cristina Gonzalez shared their successes.  In Nuevo Leon 60 cities have chosen to be Cities of Compassion and ten universities and many businesses have made commitments. She coordinates a network of hundreds of volunteers who help those in need. All are invited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the international Charter for Compassion in Monterrey, Mexico, October 10, 2019, which leads into the  Worldwide Meeting on Human Values  Oct. 11-13. 

See glimpses of compassionate action in Monterrey and in San Antonio which are called to be models helping other cities.

The Charter for Compassion International's Executive Director, Marilyn Turkovich encouraged San Antonio’s effort. She invited people to participate in the  “Compassion Tree Project"  by planting trees.  “The Compassion Tree Project (CTP) starts at a local level as a symbolic representation of the commitment and responsibility to regreen the world. It then expands beyond its own location and moves to support already-existing regreening efforts around the world. The Compassion Tree Project joins us all together in a single global effort, connecting us all in our common humanity.”  

San Antonio journalist Cary Clack reminded all of Dr. Martin Luther King’s idea of nonviolence. He shared stories of hope and encouragement to invite compassion.    

Dr. Sandy Guzman-Foster and Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, with encouragement from the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, have been participating in a pilot project to study and to spread the Compassion movement in San Antonio. This involves increasing one’s emotional intelligence.  They led a cohort of faculty at the University of the Incarnate Word during the spring semester in an introduction to Compassionate Integrity Training  which involves compassion for self, for others, and within systems. Compassion is like a muscle which can be strengthened. Learn more of compassion in  San Antonio and at UIW.  

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