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Evolving a Caring Economy

What does it mean to be compassionate – and how easy is it for us to walk into this space after two millennia of dominance and “nation” first thinking? Not so easy I think.

Yesterday I was invited by email to a dialogue about how we can join as part of a caring economy. Awesome, I am in. It is a loving group of people, I know, that I have connected with in the past around breaking through personal walls and barriers that may keep us from stepping into love as part of a heart-centered community. So many beautiful moments were shared and I was truly blessed by the connections. I had left the group a month or so back, and had not been in touch, although thought of them often. So, when I received the invitation to join in the evolving dialogue, it seemed like a good sign to reconnect.

I sent a note back, saying I would love to participate but was not able to “sign in” to the community site. A day later I received a response that the “powers that be” had met, discussed and decided that I had not shown a commitment or integrity to participate in the past, so no inclusion here. Kind of odd, I thought, because they invited me. I must admit, I was, and am, curious how they reasoned through a decision to exclude me in their dialogue for a caring economy. What was my lack? Was I not really committed to caring? Was I not skilled to contribute to the economy? It is their community, so they can decide, but…

What is caring enough, loving enough, committed enough, and does lack of such mean you cannot be part of a caring community? Isn’t that where we are at now? Rules of exclusion are all over the place -- who can join, who is accepted, and how they must contribute and behave. Money, power, privilege have been the tools for gaining entrance, and now, in a caring economy are there capacities to care or love that can exclude us from participating as loving humans? Isn’t blowing down the limitations on love and compassion the way to grow more love and compassion?

For certain, I did not feel cared for when they told me I was not welcome. I laughed about it afterwards for the irony it presented; and I am grateful for its role in setting me down to map out these thoughts. It is not so much being excluded from this group. My capacity to care and love is not in question. It is not perfect, but it is present and it is growing leaps and bounds as I – and we – navigate a more connected life. But this experience does make me question how we are forming alliance around healing and connectivity.

So many of us are awakened to a collective purpose to engage in compassionate action -- to Do good and BE good in our work, our community and as part of a more sustainable, conscious way of life. The world and humanity is in such turmoil – emotionally, politically, spiritually. We know we are called to action.

As we move into action, and seek to engage others in this compassion alliance, we need to accept and embrace all levels of participation.

What it means to care must include an acceptance, an almost all-encompassing love, of variation and degree. We are not the same. We have not walked in the same shoes. But we are all still connected. I love that difference. It is the thread that weaves us together in this compassion alliance.

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