Quote of the day

"We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing. "

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

APRIL 11–15, 2008, SEATTLE, WA

From one of our community members;

Dear Friends:

Due to the reactions among students, teachers and parents caused by an incident occurring during the recent Martin Luther King Assembly at Mt. Si High School, many people feel aggrieved, including people with very different perceptions of what happened that day. Such people include teachers, students, parents, persons who were present, persons who were not present, and even the speaker himself.

Sometimes, we learn more from our failures than from our successes. I would like to suggest a process and an event, which might help bring healing to all involved in this incident. For five days in April, 11th through 15th there is an once-in-a-lifetime event coming to our Puget Sound area. “Seeds of Compassion,” an event sponsored by the Kirlin Institute, is bringing the Dalai Lama and other leaders in education, business and youth leadership to ask the question: “What does it look like to lead a compassionate life?” Events during these days are for everyone, but with a special emphasis on youth and their parents. The events will take place at Quest Field, at Seattle Center and on the University of Washington campus. All events are free, but one must obtain tickets. The organizers are especially reaching out to schools, community youth organizations and church youth groups. Another aspect of these days is a Youth Initiative, in which youth will develop and carry out environmental care events, which will occur over the following Earth Day weekend, April 19th-20th.

Leading up to this event, youth from 4th graders through high school are enjoyed to submit photographs, stories, films, drawings, illustrating specify acts of compassion. Such works can be submitted to Seeds of Compassion organizers and many will be displayed on their web-site, www.seedsofcompassion.org. My question to the students, parents, and teachers of this Valley, is this: “What would a compassionate resolution of this recent controversy at Mt Si High School look like? What would deep, compassionate listening by all involved result in? What if, youth from the GSA group and other groups/clubs at Mt Si sat down together and truly listened to one another in a non-judgmental, safe environment? What if, despite their differing viewpoints, these youth went out together to restore and heal some place in our Valley or region as part of the Youth Initiative on Earth Day weekend? I am sure many of you could suggest other excellent ideas to bring healing to those involved in this recent incident. Leading a compassionate life means bringing compassion into the bad as well as the good times of our relationships. Especially during the difficult times!

Rev. Mary Brown
North Bend resident and retired United Methodist minister

P.S. Singer Dave Matthews is doing a concert at the Key Arena in April as a fundraiser for the Seeds of Compassion events.

Seeds of Compassion

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