Just the other day, I spent two hours partying with 80 inmates on one of the yards at R.J. Donovan Prison in San Diego. That’s a statement I never imagined I would write.
The inmates, a few volunteers, and I ate cake, listened to live music, played a rock-paper-scissors tournament, and shared stories of compassion to celebrate the end of the 30-Day Compassion It Challenge. Each week of October focused on a different aspect of compassion: mindfulness, compassion for friends and family, compassion for self, compassion for all, and compassion for the planet. The inmates turned in written reflections throughout the month, and one of them shared, “I’ve been incarcerated since I was 17, and 22 years later I still struggle with forgiving myself and having compassion for myself.” (You can read several of the inmates’ reflections on our blog:www.compassionit.com/blog)
I’m the founder of Compassion It, a nonprofit and global movement whose mission is to inspire compassionate actions and attitudes. You may be familiar with our wristbands, which inspire compassionate actions and attitudes with a simple flip from one side to the other. That’s our way of making compassion and self-compassion accessible and tangible. We also offer compassion education programs to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, from schoolchildren to doctors, and now to inmates.
I sincerely appreciate our partnership with the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. It’s an honor to know that MSC teachers use our wristbands as a tool for prompting self-compassion and compassion around the world. Thank you for your continued support, and thank you for making our world better.