February 16th     HEALING    Hug a loved one today. 

“Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?”
–Ernest Gaines, Author

 

Hug a tree. Lie in the grass. Roll around in the snow. Then inspire others.


We are physical beings. Physical touch has the capacity to heal. Study and study confirms that touch is powerful medicine.
  • Put your arm around a loved one’s shoulder.
  • Hug a parent, child, spouse, friend or relative.
  • Hold hands while you walk with friend, child, spouse or relative.

February 17th   GIVING    Give away a dollar

If you’re rich, it’s humbling. If you’re struggling, it’s still humbling.

Forget any concerns that giving away money devalues the receiver or the chance that your dollar will support a poor life choice. Let it go. Complete the day’s act of compassion and leave the rest to a higher power to manage.


If giving away a dollar is not an option, but you can access the internet, give food. FreeRice.com donates free rice to the hungry in rich and poor nations. For each correct answer to vocabulary, math, geography, science or a few other subjects, they donate ten grains of rice. A few minutes helps feed a hungry soul. 

February 18th   SELFLESSNESS  Clean something that doesn't
belong to you.

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
--Jackie Robinson
Professional Baseball Player, National League MVP, 1949


Today is also World Social Justice Day.  Make a difference for your community, nation or the planet. Join a movement. Donate to a good cause. Connect with organizes to organize an action that makes an impact.
February 19th    NOURISHMENT    Share food. 

“I always treat myself to one meal on Sundays when I can have whatever I want.”
–Beyonce Knowles, Singer, Performer

 

Cook, bake or buy a dish or delight for someone else to consume and enjoy. Make a meal for friends or family. Provide something new, nourishing and comforting.

or

*Donate food to a local food pantry. Canned goods, cereals, rice and other staples are almost always a good bet. If you’re short on funds, share from your own cabinets.
*Find a location that serves meals and help out. The opportunity to serve food may be granted to a regular cadre of volunteers.

February 20th     LISTENING

“To talk to someone who does not listen is enough to tense the devil.”
–Pearl Bailey, Actress, Singer

 

Far from passive, the silence of listening is a miraculous act of compassion. We all know the difference between being listened to and being humored or tolerated.


Listening heals. When we speak our concerns aloud, we hear ourselves. Our frustration dissipates and options come to mind. Somehow, seeing through someone else’s ears adds clarity. Anyone who can offer their ears without adding the lips is being compassionate.

February 21st    CONTRIBUTION
“My Alma Mater was books, a good library…I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” –Malcolm X, Civil Rights Activist 


Give away a book, music or other inspiring object.

 

Know someone who could use an uplifting message? Have a book perfect to inspire someone else? New or used, find something you can give away today that will be a source of inspiration. Ideally, give away something tangible that this person can keep. In this digital age, it might also be something available through the internet.

February 22nd    GRATITUDE    Express your gratitude.

“No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helps you.”
–Wilma Rudolph, Olympic Athlete


Think of five things you’re glad you have and tell someone about it. Whether you have tons of material possessions or a handful, there is so much to be grateful for on any given day. If you’re reading this, you are still alive. Today is an opportunity. Two things to be grateful for before we even get to friends, family or material resources.



February 23rd   AWARENESS    Know your global footprint.

“I am, was, and always will be a catalyst for change.”
–Shirley Chisholm
Congressperson, House of Representatives,Presidential Candidate, 1972


As the dominant species on the planet, we owe it to ourselves and other species to do what we can to preserve our home. Compassion for our planet begins with awareness of our impact.


FootprintNetwork is one of several websites that calculates your global footprint. It walks you through about ten different lifestyle questions. They even use catchy animation to demonstrate the impact of your choices. After the final question, it measures the impact of your lifestyle on the planet, your global footprint. This is the same calculator used on the Earth Day Network site.


MyFootprint.org offers a more comprehensive review of your lifestyle choices by asking more specific multiple choice questions in a multiple choice format. MichaelBlueJay.com’s carbon footprint calculator allows you to compare your household footprint with that of the typical American household.

February 24th    Give something away.

“I always wanted to be somebody. If I made it, it's half because I was game enough to take a lot of punishment along the way and half because there were a lot of people who cared enough to help me.”
--Althea Gibson, Professional Athlete


There’s something you have and don’t want that someone else doesn’t have and does want. Even if it’s a want they don’t yet know they have.


If it is too awkward for you to give it away today or impossible because you won’t see the people who come to mind, then, by all means, drop something off at a local thrift store, shelter or other appropriate location. Donation day is a couple days away on the 28th.

February 25th      SERVICE      Give 10 or more minutes of your time

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
–Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Boxing Champion

 

Whether you have a busy schedule from daybreak to bedtime or stroll through your day with little on your calendar, the conscious act of giving 10 minutes to assist someone or something else is compassion in action. Ask someone how they’re doing and do so with genuine curiosity. Who could use a helping hand to finish something, start something or move something. Don’t be shy. And don’t worry about starting something you can’t finish. Just help.

February 26th     STEWARDSHIP     Do something for the planet.

“The earth we share is not just a rock tossed through space, but a living, nurturing being. She cares for us. She deserves our care in return.”
–Michael Jackson, Musical Genius, Philanthropist

February 27th    INSPIRATION   Encourage Elected Officials

“Nobody's free until everybody's free.”
–Fannie Lou Hamer, Civil Rights Activist


Many of our esteemed African-American heroes and heroines bettered our lives by working with or as elected representatives. Use SearchKindly.org, Ecosearch.org or LookPink.com to find out the names of your city council representatives; state legislative representatives; and your three national law-making representatives--your House of Representatives Member and two Senators. You’re just a click or two away from encouraging whomever represents your interests to do the right thing about something that matters to you.

In a democracy, your vote is your voice. Need to register? Visit registertovote.org. or RockTheVote.com.
February 28th    MOTIVATION

Call, write, post, tweet or photo-post about a cause, charity, group or event that matters to you.


"There are many persons ready to do what is right because in their hearts they know it is right. But they hesitate, waiting for the other fellow to make the make the first move - and he, in turn, waits for you. - Marian Anderson, Singer

 

What difference in the world do you hope to see in your lifetime? Is there an organization dedicated to that change? Is there a local food bank, shelter or family making a right-now difference in your community?


Share your dream!

February 15th   Forgive someone.

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”
--George Washington Carver, Scientist, Inventor, Educator


Religions, twelve step programs and healing arts all acknowledge the power of forgiveness to transform our lives.


Think of an action someone took that still bothers you to do this day—a remark, an omission, an inconsideration. Now, here’s the shortcut to accessing the spirit of forgiveness. Think of a time when you did something similar to someone else, intentionally or not. Take a moment to look carefully until you find a situation that allows you to relate to them. Why did you do it? How did it affect the other person? What would life be like if everyone who met you was told that story about you and nothing else?


If you haven’t apologized for a grievance someone holds against you, do that today also. If there is no way to reach this person because they are no longer living or relocated to someplace unknown to you, apologize aloud as if they can hear you or write it out in a letter. If you write the letter, I recommend destroying it afterward as an act of accepting your own forgiveness by letting it go.

Djimon Hounsou reads the Charter for Compassion

With a little help from Dave Stewart, actor Djimon Hounsou reads the stirring words of the Charter for Compassion. As it plays, onscreen, visit some of the places around the world -- synagogues, mosques, churches, ashrams, even a prison -- where the Charter for Compassion is hung and its words a...