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I’ve been following this website called GOOD for a while. I now get ‘one good thing a day’ straight to my inbox after subscribing, and I must say I was a little pessimistic about them actually sending good stuff..but they won the bet.

What got my attention lately is their “30 days of GOOD” challenges they do every month. Last month was on “Financial Fitness”, the one before it was on “Microphilanthropy”. February is on “GOOD Citizenship”. The idea is that if you register for any monthly challenge you get daily tasks in your inbox with regards to that specific subject.

The tasks so far (It’s still the middle of the month) vary from things you can do with a little research or in the comfort of your own home like “Learn the history of your neighborhood” or “Read two opposing opinion pieces on the same topic” or even “Make a list of issues you’re passionate about.” From simple things as “Get a library card” to “Register to vote” or “Register to volunteer”. They even included the all too famous “Help someone today.”

I am not sure if the “ten commandments” are the best criteria for being ‘good’ or a good citizen nowadays l but I have no clue what else applies. I don’t think I’ve ever sat down to think about who the good citizen is. Most things that pop into my head and that might circulate and be heard around are things that a good citizen ‘would not’ do, passive sentences. Do not throw trash out on the street. Do not put on loud music in the middle of the night. Do not park in 2 parking spots. Do not hit a fellow human being in the head if you disagree on something. Do not.. do not.

The list GOOD is working on is made up of DO’s that are truly simple things one should work on to become a better citizen.

If I’m to make a mini list it would include the above mentioned things from GOOD with an addition of: Do correct peoples’ mistakes if they will have bad consequences (Even if it’s not your job). Do remind people to constantly be GOOD. Do stand up to evil/wrong doing. Do consider all things/spaces to be your own. Do look at things the way they’re supposed to be and not the way they are. Do interact. Do get our of your bubble. Do constantly redefine and reassess your thoughts and your actions. What are your thoughts on this? Also, can one be a good citizen but not necessarily ‘good’? A few questions to sleep on.

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 report for my blog. I must say it’s quite interesting, and reminded me how little I’m blogging.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,500 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

According to Ganzeer here, Zine El-Arab is the first pan-Arab ‘zine. Ganzeer is working on this alongside Makan and the amazing Nidal El Khairy and it will published once every 3 months. What’s interesting about this zine is that it will be entirely printed and distributed via the help of contributors and each one of us can print a few copies and give it to others.

The first edition is out and you can download it by clicking on the image below.

Also check out these interesting posts on the work and the launch which was in Amman here and here. I personally can’t wait for more.

In my previous post I wrote about the Charter for Compassion, how it started and what it’s about. All things remain as ideas until we act upon them, and I think the Charter for Compassion is providing Jordanians the best way to do good this Ramadan.

The idea is very simple and I will take you through it backwards. At the end of the holy month of Ramadan 5 winners will get a prize each. The first: a one year scholarship to an outstanding student in need in the winner’s name. The second prize will be a one year health insurance for a family in need also in the winner’s name. The third is full payment of heating bill for a family in need during the coming winter. The forth prize will be 3 different skilled labor courses for people in need. The fifth and final one is entertainment and interactive nights for the elderly throughout a full year. All prizes will be given to individuals or families in the winners names’.

The Pay it Forward concept is one of the most amazing things out there. You do good and you are repaid by good being done to someone else and not to you directly. When the circle gets bigger and bigger I am sure that you will be repaid somehow, but this concept takes the definition of goodness into another new selfless dimension. Read more about the Pay it Forward Movement here.

Now if this Charter for Compassion competition does not apply as Paying it Forward then I don’t know what does! For you to be able to win one of these prizes and help put a smile on someone else’s face all you have to do is share your own daily act of compassion, a specific commitment you are making to live more compassionately, or a compassionate act you have witnessed, on the application here.

The competition defines acting compassionately as: treating others like you would like to be treated yourself. To relate to and try to alleviate the pain and suffering of other humans beings. To seek to bring joy, empathy and kindess through your actions towards others.

It can be something as small as helping your mother prepare Iftar to a big initiative you’re doing to encourage skilled labor. It can be your own act or one you witnessed others do. What’s interesting as well is how this might encourage people to actively do good in order to help someone they know who might need a scholarship or any of the prizes.

I personally hope that these acts do not become monopolized by Ramadan or any other religious event but remain a habit within us all.

Compassion: a small selfless act; unconditional kindness; a creator of happiness.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. One of the very few things that I personally think all of humanity agrees upon.

During a TED talk on February 28, 2008 Karen Armstrong made a wish: to help creating, launching and propagating a Charter for Compassion. on November 12, 2009 the Charter was unveiled to the world. The Golden Rule lies at the core of the charter which consists of a document that transcends religious, ideological, and national difference.

The Charter for Compassion is a document that was drafted by a multi-faith, multi-national council of thinkers and leaders. Here it is:

“The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others even our enemies is a denial of our common humanity.

We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.”

The Charter of Compassion is a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life.

The good news is that this charter is not just Karen Armstrong’s project anymore, it has been adopted by a great amount of people and volunteers who are taking this charter and applying it in different parts of the world. And you guessed it, Jordan is on the list.

You might be wondering how one can restore compassion in himself or in others or how the idea will be applied, my hint to you is: Thirty kind acts in thirty days. After all, it is Ramadan.

I will let you know more about this tomorrow once the campaign is officially launched. Till then you can check the website, the Facebook page, the twitter account, or ASK ME :D.

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