1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Happy Hump Day, Kerry's Causes

My Voice Amongst the Thousands

A week after the attack on the French Charlie Hebdo I woke up to find a movement beginning and spreading across my social media and the blogosphere: 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion.

I have been watching the news every night, feeling helpless, and then I read about this campain,which started small only the other day, aiming hopefully for 1000 participants; now growing.

On February 20th the movement hopes to post as one on blogs everywhere, all over the world. I thought…hey, this is something I could do. I can write about compassion.

It may not seem like it, in a world so big, but even a movement such as this one can be a powerful tool. It feels good to band together, in any way possible, to say something and speak about the good we want to spread. This, in a world where so much hatred and ignorance seems to spread like wildfire every single day.

I know issues like censorship and freedom of speech and of the press are hot button issues in the world today. Again, apparently I can’t seem to just choose a side and stick with it.

Should cartoons such as the ones in this case even be created, if it is at all disrespectful? Should freedom of speech, no matter who it insults, be what’s most important? Should we think before we act?

I am writing this because I have the freedom to do so. I may not be writing anything particularly inflammatory or I might. It all would depend on who you’d ask I suppose. I don’t take this freedom for granted. As a writer, I know the power of the “pen” or, in my case and as is so often the case these days, the keyboard.

There has been great support for the Paris newspaper that was attacked. Last weekend there was a march in France for Charlie Hebdo. News media outlets all across the world have come out condemning the attack and I agree it was a seriously cowardly act.

Now, I know about writing and words and how the written word is clearly powerful.

“Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you.”

This is bunk!

As for these cartoons:

I have enjoyed art as a child, but I can no longer see it. I have not seen these cartoons at the centre of this story.

I know there is not enough sense of humour around the world and different cultures take offence to things, widespread degrees of sensitivity.

I don’t know and can’t really speak on the issue. I don’t know what the need was, so strong of satire and freedom of the press.

Perhaps I wish every culture of the world could be on the same level to understand why one is so offended by something the other does.

I wanted to participate in 1000 Speak (which is now the official hashtag) because I believe compassion and understanding of others is the key.

Also in the news lately, at home here in my own country of Canada is another very disturbing story that has been on my mind.

It’s the issue of the lack of respect for females in our culture and in youth, on college campuses and it’s something I fear nobody, not students or grown adults who should know better, takes seriously enough.

It’s been in the news, for weeks it seems, but maybe it takes precisely the news media to make a dent in the problem.

It took place at the dentistry school, at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

A group of male students was caught posting horrible things on Facebook about female classmates. Such nonchalant discussion about drugging and hate sex are probably more common than I want to believe. I really do not know what makes anyone, at any age, think that is okay to think, let alone say about another human being.

Red tape. Channels. What is the appropriate way to deal with this and why has it been handled the way it has to this point?

It seems like this story has been going on for a while and just today I heard on the news that the cops finally received the information they requested to aid in their investigation. What would take the school administration this long? Were they dragging their feet?

Surely they have daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers. What is this pervasiveness in our society to downplay something so important?

I don’t know that writing can have any effect on these moral questions and serious events whatsoever. Perhaps, the extra news coverage on the problem at Dalhousie is just the thing, public pressure, to bring about just the necessary punishment for those involved.

As for the deeper questions of freedom of speech and expression I don’t know what will happen. France is in the spotlight right now, but it’s just the latest in a never-ending parade of headlines. Why can’t we all just get along? Ha!

I don’t always articulate my feelings so well here, but I wanted to jot down these two examples as I announce my intention of being one of those bloggers who plans to write about compassion on February 20th. I want to speak up along with others who intend on speaking.

There’s a lot being discussed back and forth over my social media today about how to best get the message across. I can’t promise I will keep up with all the social media avenues of awareness for this thing, but I can do what I do best: I can share my own unique perspective, on my blog, for the sort of compassionate world I never lose hope of waking up to find one day.

As I said in an interview I did on a blog just yesterday, I wish I could shake the world into seeing reason. I will continue to set my own small example of what it means to find compassion for all human beings and empathy for what they might be feeling or what has brought them to where they are today.

I will be one of thousands and that’s a start.

From a Distance – Bette Midler on YouTube


23 thoughts on “My Voice Amongst the Thousands

  1. Jen @ Driftwood Gardens says:

    Excellent post! I’m so excited to be taking part in #1000Speak with articulate and compassionate bloggers like yourself. I like your viewpoint and I think it’s important for us all to express these feelings. I’m really looking forward to reading your post on February 20th.

  2. Hi Kerry
    I really appreciated your post and am going to follow up the 1000 speak thing. Thank you so much for writing about it on your blog so I could find out about it. I have been writing about the whole terrorism thing a bit lately. I live in Sydney and have walked through Martin place where the siege took place back in December. Subsequent events in Paris have dwarfed the horrors of what happened in Sydney but we still live with the aftermath.
    As a Mum, I closely identified with mother Katrina Dawson who was shot and later died following the siege. It has recently come out that she was accidentally shot by Police as they stormed the cafe but as far as I’m concerned, the gunman might as well have shot the bullet.
    Freedom of speech has been a big issue since the Paris siege. I have learned that a publication like Charlie could not get published in Australia. I personally think we need to respect others but when views become extreme, I become concerned and do see the need for some controls.
    Since the Sydney Siege, I have been looking to the Golden Rule and the INverse Golden Rule as a way forward and also see a very strong role for forgiveness. I have written a series of posts about trying to implement the Golden Rule via my dog posting on my blog. You see he was all for the Golden Rule but then realised that would have to include cats and he wasn’t quite so sure. Exploring the Golden Rule through his eyes, really gave me great insight into the challenges involved. xx Rowena

    • I am glad to share #1000Speak with you. That is the whole point, to spread the word. Yes, I was following what happened in Sydney. Something happened in Ottawa, not far from me and I wrote a blog post on it back in November. Australia…Canada…France. Doesn’t matter where around the world…we are all humans and we hurt for one another when these things happen.

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  4. lenie5860 says:

    Hi Kerry, I will find out more about 1000speak. I do believe in freedom of speech but I was also raised to know that words can hurt and to be careful how they were used. This was a wonderful post and I’m sure you’ll reach many people through it.

  5. So outstanding you are Kerry. Finding something like this and then having it ignite you to your very core. That’s my take away here. I will also look into this 1000speak. I think in our USA, our freedom of speech is eroding away. It’s a limited freedom of speech. And God forbid it’s true but if it is, then my grandchildren will never know what it was really about.

    • Thank you for saying this. Freedom is important, but compassion is just as important and is lacking. Yes, this is a subject very close to my heart. Thank you for reading this post and for the comment.

  6. I’ll check it out Kerri and thanks for such a wonderful post. Reason has fled, in my opinion. Figuring out why and how to get it back are what is the forefront for me now. Because while freedom of speech is tantamount to who we are as a nation and a people, there is a line. My rub is that I don’t think this is a line that can be legislated; it has to be borne from decency and simple respect. I think we need to figure out where and how those got misplaced and restore them. Just my take….

    • Thank you. I totally agree with this take on the situation. Reasoning and common decency simply are not comon enough these days and most do not know where the line you speak of is. It’s sad but true, that things like respect and compassion must come from within, most times people are not able to muster up any of this. Thank you so much for reading.

  7. heraldmarty says:

    Well written post and good for you for getting involved Kerry! While the movement to bring attention to free speech is laudable, it’s unfortunate that so many involved don’t fully understand the concept of free speech. As a “news junkie” it hasn’t been difficult to find examples of people (and governments) waving a flag for free speech in one hand while on the other shutting down anyone who speaks against their own beliefs. For example the country of one of those inspiring leaders that marched at the front of the peace parade in France has beheaded no less than a dozen political dissidents in the last month. This is the problem when the public consumes news in sound bites – they never really know the full story – and most are content to leave it at that. Thanks for the inspiring read!

    • I do not like the constant feeling of knowing there are is more going on than I know, but I am not sure I could handle it if I did know. I tried to watch the news, but then make my own conclusions by using my own commonsense and empathy for others. Thank you so much for reading and for your comment here today.

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