Recently, Louisville committed to become a Compassionate City, with all manner of metrics, media, and methods to design compassion into the city’s experience.
A few months later, Seattle rose to Louisville’s challenge! Their 2012 Compassion Games lasted 30 days and Seattle contributed more than 150,000 hours of community service. Seattle had more than 40 sponsors and partner organizations with 38 planned action projects and events over the month. Volunteers handed out thousands of “Compassion Cards” that led to an unknown number of random acts of kindness ranging from park cleanup to donating blood, adopting an animal, reading to a child, saying “thank you” to a mentor, and visiting someone who is lonely.
Jon Ramer and other Seattle organizers are proposing that they consider this first year a draw and leave the 2012 Compassion Games tied, undecided – and to be continued. However, the promising results have inspired them to explore forming a “league of compassionate communities” that will compete with kindness to discover the most compassionate places to live.
And why not. Without the intention to be compassionate, any urban area pays lip service to quality of life. It’s that profoundly important.