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#1000speak for compassion – and i speak for 5


#1000speak was born just a little over a month ago when Yvonne Spence and Lizzi Rogers put out the call for bloggers to write about compassion and flood the internet with good on February 20.

I immediately signed up and so did more than 1000 others. If there’s one thing bloggers can always be counted on, it’s to come together for a cause.

And, right now, there’s no cause more important than compassion.

So many of us are feeling hopeless about the state of the world. The problems are so overwhelming, we can’t imagine how they will ever be solved and how we will start to live as one global community.

I’ve come to realize that all we can each do is our best, and if we each just do that, we will change the world. Like Dr. Seuss said, “To the world, you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world.”

I want to introduce you to five special people who are absolute proof of that. In their own small ways — because I guarantee you every one of them will humbly tell you that what they’re doing is not such a big deal — they make a huge difference. I am so proud to have them in my life, and I hope they will inspire you to act with compassion in everything you do. They inspire me every single day.

* Michael Mark. My husband, the love of my life, has a heart that seems to expand endlessly to make room for anyone who needs it. A couple of years ago, he became a volunteer at Lightbridge Hospice, and I am awestruck at his ability to make patients feel important, cared for and heard during the most difficult time of their life. I have often felt like bursting with pride — and into tears — as I listened to families tell him how much he meant to their loved one. He has given such an extraordinary gift to half a dozen patients, and I hope he realizes how many people hold him tight in their own hearts. He fills mine.

* Ruth Curran. I met Ruth through blogging and our first real conversation was a powerhouse that bonded us for life. Ruth is a champion for brain health and a force for good in this world. Her blog, Cranium Crunches, has become the daily go-to for her loyal readers who know she’s always looking out for them. Right now, she and her equally wonderful husband, Dan, are in St. Lucia, volunteering with Global Volunteers on the St. Lucia Project, a groundbreaking campaign to raise the IQ of an entire country. I have no doubt their mission will succeed — because Ruth is there.

* Amy Wise. One of the most optimistic and passionate people I know, Amy wrote an inspirational quote book that sits on the bedside tables of thousands of people who turn to it first thing in the morning to start their day right. Amy recently co-founded R.I.S.E. to Empower, a non-profit focused on helping girls and young women make positive life choices. It’s no wonder her book is called Believe in Yourself ~ Inspire Others ~ Spread Joy because that is what she does so naturally. The messages I see on her Facebook page on a daily basis reveal what an impact her words and her enthusiasm have had on so many.

* Madge Stein Woods. If there’s a cause that needs support, Madge is always ready to step up to the plate. Her generosity is astounding. She is smart and curious and she cares deeply. Madge is not someone who watches from the sidelines. She gets involved. She’s an active participant who gives her time and literally puts her money where her mouth is. I love seeing pictures of Madge with her grandchildren because they clearly adore her. They’re not the only ones who do.

* Susan Jensen. Susan was one of the first people I met when we moved to San Diego 17 years ago and she made me feel at home immediately. She’s the kind of person who doesn’t stand on ceremony. If something needs to be done, she just does it. She’s the first one there when someone’s in trouble. When we had our old blog, StyleSubstanceSoul, it was the Soul part we all cared most about but it was obvious that it really represented Susan. She gives of herself without a second thought and you know you can count on her for anything. I’m counting on her to be my friend forever.

If you want to get involved with #1000speak but don’t know what to do, just start by spreading awareness. You can Tweet this:

You can also find the links to the 1000+ posts on Yvonne and Lizzi’s blogs. Just click their names in the first sentence of this post. Then read, share, and raise your own voice for compassion. And if you know anyone you think I should feature on Midlife at the Oasis — someone who makes a difference in their own way — just email me or leave a comment.

Together, we can make sure kindness wins.



  1. What a wonderful way to share positivity! Compassion and kindness are two things I hope to instill in my children.

  2. Thanks so much for this reminder on Compassion – can you imagine a world where we each just showed a smidgen more compassion each day than we already do? Wow! I think it would be amazing!!

  3. Tracy @ Crazy As Normal says:

    In reading how lucky you are to be surrounded by such amazing people I am reminded that I’m kind-of pretty lucky myself. Thanks for that and YES #kindnesswins. ALWAYS. 🙂

  4. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    So often we hear only about the bad, so thank for for telling us about these inspiring people 🙂

  5. I agree with a PP about only hearing about the bad things in life. Your post about compassion is a great message and very uplifting! Thank you for that, it was a much-needed read on this cold Friday morning!

  6. I love when people model the behavior we wish to see in the world. I appreciate knowing about these individuals and of course, knowing Ruth.

  7. Thanks for the wonderful words about 5 compassionate and loving people, some I know and others I want to know. If our world was filled with them we’d be in good shape. #1000Speaks Forever!

  8. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    Those are five very special people! I’m happy to say I have met two of them and agree wholeheartedly that they are truly inspirational. I hope that our voices today will encourage everyone to act with a little more kindness and compassion. Loved this post.

  9. A great piece Lois! You’ve introduce used to some very inspiring people. Having watched my husband lose most of his family to cancer I can attest to how special the caring volunteers of hospice are. Kudos to your husband.

  10. Thank you Lois. This was a complete surprise and I feel honored to be among your chosen 5. I love that we met through writing and shared interests and became friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this shout out. It made my morning as I sit here in my jammies do what I do everyday reading facebook for way too many minutes. Love you girlfriend.

  11. Lois,

    Wow! Such a beautiful surprise to see first thing in the morning! I’m so honored to be among your 5. I love each and every person on this list and am blessed to have them as friends. You, my friend, are such a special soul. Thank you for being you, for doing what you do and for spreading JOY to everyone you know. I nominate YOU! Love you.

  12. Thank you for introducing us to these five wonderful people. You are blessed to have them. You have reminded me of those I am blessed to have in my own life.

  13. This blog post is nicely written and I love seeing the other blogs up there. I also write about compassion, inspiration hope and share about living life with a rare genetic disorder called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome what life is like living as a adult with it and raising a child and that so many mis conceptions and steotypes are out there and there really does need to be so much more compassion out there in the world for each other and for when we disagree with one another beliefs.

  14. Compassion is something we all need more of. .. Not just today, but every day.

  15. What a wonderful post sharing such amazing people that truly demonstrate the fine art of compassion! I love that you chose such a variety of people and I am struck by the influence each voice can have, with their heart and their mission.

  16. Being compassionate toward others, and other creatures, is an important part of the true circle of life.

  17. What a beautiful reason to write! You are indeed surrounded by amazing people. Let’s keep this movement going!

  18. We try to teach compassion and kindness to our children. It is such an important quality in a person.

  19. Beautiful (and much-needed) post! Thank you for sharing with all of us!

  20. What a wonderful way of celebrating these individuals!

  21. This is a great initiative. Although I’m too swamped to do a post, I did my part by tweeting and sharing. Thanks for letting us know about all the great people in your life, Lois.

  22. This is such a great way to share compassion. I am sharing with my network

  23. What a great way to spread compassion! I think its wonderful that so many have banded together for this cause.

  24. Being compassionate towards other regardless of a number of factors can be quite challenging. I wish I knew about this as would have loved to sign up

  25. It’s such a blessing when you have a model for compassion in your husband, Lois! Thank you sharing about him and the other wonderful people. I know Ruth, but had no idea about her volunteering work. Amazing!

  26. Your husband sounds like a saint! Thanks for setting up that tweet!

  27. Love this. Sounds like some amazing people, and I absolutely love the positivity and kindness in the post. VERY well written!

  28. I would have loved to sign up! It’s wonderful when people come together for good!

  29. I love the idea of #1000speakforcompassion and I loved reading about these 5 special people. I always want to be compassionate, especially when it is hard.

  30. What a wonderful topic of discussion. World needs more compassionate people. It starts with each of us being responsible for our own gracious attitude towards others.

  31. Wow if only all of us spent the time to speak the language of compassion. I applaud your husband for working at a hospice. It takes a special person to volunteer there.

  32. I loved reading about the compassion that your husband and friends show. What a world this could be if we showed more. Thanks for sharing such an important topic.

  33. I agree with you, compassion is a very important cause. If we don’t have at least that for our fellow man, we have nothing.

  34. Five fabulously inspirational individuals. I look forward to getting to know more about them (tho I do already know and love Ruth). Compassion counts more than ever before. I applaud you and the 1000+ spreading and encouraging it.

  35. I wish I had heard about this because I would have joined in.

  36. I am so humbled by your words my friend and I just love the company :)!!!

  37. What a magnificent initiative! Your comments about your hubby made me tear up! How wonderful to have such inspiring people in your life.

  38. Great post. This world definitely needs more compassion, there is a huge lack of it.

  39. Beautiful way to pay it forward Lois. Thanks for sharing what’s near and dear to your heart. Love it!

  40. I love this movement. It is so positive. Your post is very positive too and I am truly impressed with your husband. I did tweet out your tweet. I would love for some of the people on twitter to become more compassionate. That would be a great start.

  41. That is pretty cool – I love learning about new interesting people

  42. I love this! Writing about compassionate things can do us all some good sometimes!

  43. I also love good, positive posts that help to uplift all of us, especially in the craziness of the world.

  44. This is such a nice blog post.It is always nice to see a positive post.

  45. Jess Weaver says:

    I always try to be compassionate, especially when it is not always the easiest thing to do. What an inspiring post! .

  46. What a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

  47. Such beautiful post and idea – the compassion of the stories was fabulous to read this morning – congrats on this great post – so many good things we don’t hear about

  48. Love that you’ve showcased prime examples of compassion from real people. And I love the Suess quote (so true!).

  49. I loved what you wrote about your husband…..and Amy Wise is on my radar to get the book. I need inspirational quotes so badly. I wish I had been paying attention to the #1000 voices….but I can still do it, never too late. Right?

  50. What a great cause to start. Truly so many people need to see compassion and be encouraged by it.

  51. What a wonderful cause to come together for! I wish I had known about it prior, I would have loved to have participated in this!

  52. Oh no! I wish I had known this before. I would have participated too. You did it justice 🙂

  53. Debbie Denny says:

    This is wonderful. I am all for finding goo and having compassion.

  54. I’ve seen various versions of this all over these posts: “To the world, you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world.”
    It’s so true and your five examples here are beautiful ones We so need to remember that it doesn’t have to be the grand and global gesture – just something small that will matter. It starts there.

  55. Compassion is something that we so often forget about when it comes to others. Thanks for the reminder!

  56. Love finding new bloggers to read. Thank you for sharing and I agree, time make compassion a great character trait that everyone has!

  57. I love this. And thanks for making it so easy to share the compassion. I need to check out Amy’s book for sure.

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