I received an email yesterday that really piqued my interest; the idea of a ‘Compassion Relay’. At first I though, ‘Oh cute, look at all those fit people running for a good cause bless their cotton socks’ but when I actually read it I discovered that it barely involves any exercise at all so = win as far as I’m concerned. The idea is explained fully here but basically involves ‘carrying the compassion torch for a week’, performing acts of compassion for yourself, for others, or the earth (I’m vegan for Lent, the planet loves me, boom I’m done)*.
Now I really like this idea. But you have to ‘pass the torch’ to someone else during the week so that they start their own compassion relay and I’m terrified that no one will take it from me and I’ll be all ‘I broke the Compassion Olympics’. Please someone commit so I don’t lose sleep!!
The FAQs suggest that you share your good acts along the way on Facebook or the like, and of course me, being an intuitively skeptical kind of person immediately though sweet baby Jesus, save us.
Do we really need more people instagramming selfies tagged IPAIDFORASTRANGERSCOFFEE ? Why do we have to make a fuss about the good things that we do? I know that a good deed is still a good deed no matter if you tell 1 person or 1 million, but for me if you are doing a good thing and then broadcasting it then its just a bit…tacky. Maybe. Do we really live in a world when you needs ‘likes’ for not being a selfish prick?
But then when I read through it properly (God knows I’m a skimmer) I found that the act of compassionate action that you explore can actually be someone elses act! Isn’t that lovely? At the end of your nominated week you record everything on a Compassion Map so that there can be a representation of all the good done all over the world.
Purposely looking for great things that other people do and then spreading that love. Now THAT I like. That is something worth broadcasting right there. There are people doing great things around us all the time; letting people in in traffic, holding doors open, carrying big packages for women with babies, making up 20c if someone is short. These happen all the time and its probably you doing a fair amount of these.
But still, it made me think about the worth of acts of kindness that we do that we then broadcast to the world.
Lets do good things for others because we have the needs of others at the forefront of our minds at all times. If we want to help this, lets be honest, fairly stressful world then we need to all be doing things to lift each other up all of the time. Unconsciously. If we are someone who doesn’t find good deeds intuitive then hopefully we can use the Olympics to then infuse the acts into an everyday thing- so that instead of it being a ‘Hmmm, what Kind and Selfless Act can I do today’ we should all have woven good acts seamlessly into our lives so that they are not even worth nothing because they are so instinctual.
Meh. maybe Im just one of the grumpy old men from the muppets masquerading as a hip and funky young thing.**
**I am none of those things.
(Also, how the heck is it March already?)