In December 2017, I wrote an op-ed for the Austin American Statesman titled, Practice Compassion for Others, Bring Harmony to Our World.
The response I got went well beyond the usual feedback I receive for my writing. Dozens of people sent me emails to thank me, I was asked permission to use the article at a church retreat, a couple of friends told me that they had seen the article on a refrigerator in a house they visited, and I even got a couple of phone calls (which almost never happens in response to articles, ask any writer).
Sure, the op-ed didn’t go viral by modern standards, but the sincere gratitude I received for the message was noticeable.
Why Such a Response?
In the article, I wrote about how I had been increasingly distraught by the divisive rhetoric that has driven the national discourse in recent years, drew inspiration from Nobel Peace Prize laureate Betty Williams who said that we must do peacebuilding efforts from the ground up, and offered four distinct approaches we can apply to our lives in order to create a more harmonious society.
From the responses I got, I sensed that people both shared my frustration and were thankful to get practical strategies that they could put to good use.
Inspired to Create a Program
Upon reflection, I realized I had only written about the surface structures of the strategies and that more depth was required to really understand them and apply them in everyday life.
To go deeper, I decided to create a program titled Working Together Towards Harmony.
I contacted both places of worship and spiritual centers in Central Texas to offer the program for free at the beginning of the year and several of them accepted.
Free Events in Central TexasI will be presenting the program in New Braunfels, Kerrville, Austin and San Antonio in January and February this year. If you live in any of those areas, you are cordially invited to join us for a discussion on how we can create a more harmonious society.
Click here for a complete schedule.
If You Can’t Make It
If you would like to attend the events, but can’t make it to any of the ones in Central Texas, either because of prior commitments or because you live too far away, feel free to contact me. If you have a group of ten or more people, I am willing to present the program, either in-person or online.
Now, I can’t give it away for free forever (although I am working on a plan to be able to do that), but instead, I am willing to present the program on a donation basis.
Either way, I urge you to join me in spirit. Let us work together towards harmony.
Pictures: Pixabay.com and Pexels.com CC0 License