Awakening the Compass of Compassion: An Evolutionary Journey
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Compassion is medicine for suffering. By cultivating compassion for self and others we are becoming champions of compassionate change within the violent, divided, unjust world we call home. Promising community development initiatives have been influenced by the teachings of historical figures and events as well as being guided by the principals and practices of compassion informed methodologies. The healing powers of compassion combined with the wisdom of community development provide communities with opportunities to decrease suffering, increase psychosocial integration, as well as develop compassionate cultures of hope and possibility. An exploration of existing literature and programs strengthen the interrelationship between compassion and community development, as well as contribute to the knowledge of the practical strategies identified in individual, family, and community settings. This thesis proposes a newly developed model called the Compass of Compassion focused on improving the plethora of community-identified struggles. Further investigation regarding compassion-informed practices is needed within the community-based initiatives along with the educational, societal, economic and political realms. Indeed, compassion has the potential of creating lasting and desirable change if we use the principals and practices of the Compass of Compassion combined with programs such as Integrating Compassionate Action Now (ICAN) into all parts of our globalized world.