Online Book Chart/Book Study

A Compassionate Civilization

The Urgency of Sustainable Development and Mindful Activism

– Reflections and Recommendations by Robertson Work

Hosted by: Kathy McGrane, CTF & Cheryl Kartes, CTF, principals at VFC

Held September 11th through October 23, 2017

Session 4 Chapter 4 Jane Stallman, CTF Charter/Facilitator

Chapter 4 Recording: October 2, 2017

URL for Viewing:

The Author’s Chart (from Table of Contents) – where we are today

 What is a Movement?       A noun

  1. the act, process, or result of moving
  2. a particular manner or style of moving.
  3. usually, movements. actions or activities, as of a person or a body of persons.


Chapter 4 Chart:

1-2-3 Basic Structures

Results of Team Conversations in Breakout Rooms: 

(Other comments in the dialogue at the URL above.)

What is needed to help movements and MOMs move us towards Rob's Compassionate Civilization?

Movement's provide a demonstration of how it is possible to live in a new kind of way – movements are responsible for showing how it could be…. they are the way change, the future happens.

Building guidelines, norms respect and others, civil conversations – and Joseph Matthews statement on consensus – all heard but all don't have to agree.

Re Vietnam – Passed through a veil of trusting leaders, belief in leaders and national solidarity and it was proven to not be adequate – we were naive about pleasant life is, how we can trust other people — on a trajectory as a species of whether we can move toward a different level of consciousness – can we address inner development limitations – greed, …. along side of policy development


What are characteristics of Movements that lead toward divisiveness in compassion?

Not all movements are oriented toward a more compassionate society and lead to compassion

Even movements designed to lead to global compassion may lead to conflict

Relationships don't matter – its' about the issue with no balance

Any movements that don't have a belief in a positive future for all – have a narrow focus on WHO there is a positive future for.

The people that are strong within a movement and identify strongly to it, tend to look at people who aren't a part of it, may discount others and move away from a society of compassion.

The way society moves into the future may not include everybody in a compassionate stance – some will just have to be left out in the way the future is moving.


What do you see as Characteristics of Movements that help us move toward Compassion?

Persistence over time toward a long term change

Like-minded people find a way to get together and resolve perceived issues

Look at and listen to all sides (Ken Burns Vietnam series) bring compassion to all sides

Ones that agree with I have compassion develop, those that I disagree with make me angry

Experience people directly rather than their stereotypes or images, relate person to person

If in a movement immediately accept that person and acting compassionately within the movement you are in. Give people an experience that they can work with others even if there are characteristics that we don't like?

Searching for truth even if it is different than our initial understanding

Round tables

even with differing points of view, we reach out to each other in relationship


What Questions are Percolating?

Jim Wiegel: How are movements co-opted?

Jane Stallman: How to movements and MOMS related to compassion.

Cheryl Kartes: How can movements become more aware and supportive of each other?

Sunny Walker: As a somewhat retired person, a bit worn out, a few annoying health items, I wonder where I could best put my compassion. At the moment it's in the local climate action work.

Jane Stallman: What difference is there between being an individual taking action on an issue or a need and being a part of a movement?

Nadine Bell: What are examples of successful movements from which we can learn?

Jim Wiegel: So many of Rob's descriptors of the MOM include internet based approaches. At the same time, almost daily we are hearing of ways that these approaches are either being co-opted or being used and believed in so unskillfully that they are simply a distraction. Meg Wheatley says we are “Distracted beyond recall” that our efforts to improve life socially have often backfired.

Jane Stallman: And, how to parse what is “real” vs “fake” news in the fragmented, overwhelming deluge of information on the internet – what is truth, what is real?

Jane Stallman: Is there a difference in movements against something or for something?

Jane Stallman: How is it possible that people have exhibited compassion in one situations don't transfer it to other situations (leader of Burma)


What is something you became aware of today about Movements and creating a Compassionate Civilization? (poll pod)

I became aware of the sense of solidarity or fellow feeling or good vibes from the persons in the movement with me – friends, colleagues, etc. This is a rich and warm experience of a kind of compassion—a strong experience. Is being in it for the experience enough?

Compassion seems to be a choice within certain movements.

General assumptions that movements are directed to or because of compassion.

Movements can have impacts.

Movements may not lead to a compassionate world—Is it possible they could?

Against-ness does not create peace , and so, no compassion.

Rob talks about a loose relationship structure among movements in a larger MOM.


What questions do you have for the author Robertson Work?

Jane Stallman: Rob, what connection do you see between Movements/MOMS and compassion?

Sunny Walker: What movements have you encountered (for example from your UNDP work) that seemed to MOST exemplify compassion?

Jean K Watts: What needs to happen that will make movements unnecessary? Because there will be no need to be against something

Jim Wiegel: Is there an assumption that the Movement of Movements are fundamentally focused on putting pressure/ generating change in governmental regulation / expenditure?

Jean K Watts: How did the Spirit Movement that a lot of us were apart of lead to a more compassionate society?

Cheryl Kartes: Where do you find other countries leading the way in building compassionate civilizations? What can we be learning about compassion at the country level?

A Compassionate Civilization – Session 4 of 7

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