Words from a buddhist cop about creating compassionate police officers
Many of the tragedies now being uncovered in policing are the result of the fact that as police officers we simply cannot see what is actually in front of us — a suffering human being in need of help.
If we want compassionate police forces, communities must get intimately involved with their police departments. Communities need to organize and call for changes in the leadership, hiring, use of force policies, and training practices of their local police departments. And they need to do so with awareness, right speech, understanding of a police officer’s job, and compassion.
It’s also important to remember that police officers need support in seeing with eyes of compassion. Without our encouragement, a police officer’s initial yearning to alleviate suffering will become dormant.
The compassion that enables us to be with the families of the victims in these tragedies comes relatively easily to most of us. The compassion required to be with the officer and the family of the officer who pulled the trigger is much more challenging.
We all want world peace right? We haven’t achieved it yet but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done by this afternoon. If we all agree to the following, and have friends who agree to the following, that might be enough.
Join the Team for Peace.
I act in peaceful ways and I model peaceful ways for my physically close family and for my global human family.
When I physically hurt others, I get support to find new ways of understanding myself and others. If I am a danger to others, I surround myself with people who have agreed to help me keep others and myself safe.
I support peaceful leaders who find peaceful solutions and don’t use physical force to solve a problem.
I am gathering together people who live peacefully to find peaceful solutions for every problem.
To be part of this team, agree with the writing above. Take it on as your own and spread peace.
To keep track of who is on the Team for Peace, please send me a message and agree to be listed publicly as being on the Team for Peace. Together we can have peace.
Love, Marina (Stormy) May
SIERRA HARVEST: Bringing gardening to the people
Sierra Harvest brings education about farming and nutrition into schools and to families seeking help to begin gardening at home. Funding is available to help people who otherwise couldn’t afford the advice, physical help and support as they begin to grow their own gardens. Sierra Harvest operates in Nevada County, California.
STREETBANK: A social sharing network (for real things)
It seems like social sharing has replaced real-life sharing these days. Streetbank is a website that makes it easy to do something about it. Streetbank serves to connect local communities through sharing goods and services. Even though I live in a rural community half a world away from the UK where Streetbank was founded, I was surprised to find 6 other people within 10 miles of me sharing things from a pressure cooker to a machete. Streetbank also has ready-made ideas to help promote the network. Think it’s a great idea? Sign up now and look around to see what you have to share or give to your neighbors or what they may have waiting for you. Watch the video to learn more and visit the Streetbank website.
HOUR NEVADA COUNTY: Exchanging time instead of money
People have been coming up with sustainable ways to operate outside of the current economic system. Learn about the TimeBank system currently operating in countries around the world. From the Hour Nevada County TimeBank website:
How It Works
The concept is simple. Help a neighbor and earn credit for each hour of your service. In exchange, you can spend your time credits on any of the hundreds of different services that other members offer. Hour Nevada County empowers individuals, organizations, and businesses to help each other meet their needs cash-free through one-to-one exchanges and group projects. Their activities build and strengthen our community.
This cartoon illustrates an example from TimeBank flagship, Exchange Portland in Portland, MN:
TimeBanks have been established in 34 countries with at least 300 Time Banks established in 40 US states and 300 throughout the United Kingdom. TimeBanks also have a significant presence in Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan, Senegal, Argentina, Israel, Greece, and Spain.
TimeBanks have been used to reduce recidivism rates with diversionary programs for first-time juvenile offenders; facilitate re-entry for ex-convicts; deliver health care, job training and social services in public housing complexes; facilitate substance abuse recovery; prevent institutionalization of severely disabled children through parental support networks; provide transportation for homebound seniors in rural areas; deliver elder care, community health services and hospice care; and foster women’s rights initiatives in Senegal.