This article appeared in the October 07, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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Where compassion becomes the definition of success

Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters
Aruba’s Jonathan Busby is helped to the finish line by Guinea-Bissau’s Braima Suncar Dabo during the men’s 5,000-meter race at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, Sept. 27, 2019.
Clayton Collins
Director, editorial innovation

Welcome back. Today we look at competing values in the high court’s new session, Cory Booker’s love-forward candidacy, a big moment for separatists in Spain, black women making important inroads as U.S. mayors, and an effort to help both birds and big cities.

First, from Hong Kong to Iraq to the U.S., the world seems ablaze in clashing interests. 

Quieter acts of compassion support a more hopeful view. 

One athlete helps another in the Qatari heat. “My thoughts were to help him finish,” said Braima Suncar Dabo of Guinea-Bissau of his Aruban competitor Jonathan Busby. “That is the point of the race.”

A Chicago teacher tells a parent who wanted to read to her child’s class but couldn’t read English, “Come read in your language.”

Refugee women from different cultures form tea circles in Sicily to grow strength from unity. 

“We can change this world right now,” wrote Sharif Abdullah in his book “Creating a World That Works for All,” “by shifting our consciousness and our values from a foundation of exclusivity to one of inclusivity.”

How much of a shift would that require in a U.S. culture where it seems to mean a lot to “win,” and where winning seems a zero-sum game? Maybe less than we think. 

A study by Gallup and the think tank Populace finds that respondents’ definitions of “success” are quite different from what they judge society’s definitions to be. Learning, human relationships, and character – all pro-social pursuits – formed the individuals’ top three. Together they edged out what respondents perceived to be the most important marker in society’s view: “status” built on acquiring advantages over others. 

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This article appeared in the October 07, 2019 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 10/07 edition