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A Letter from India

A Letter from India
Dancing Trees by British artist Phil Greenwood

Given the subject line of this newsletter, I could have easily put up a picture of what is happening in India with the exhausting figures of Covid deaths each day. I couldn't bear to do that. Instead, I selected this sublime picture by British artist, Phil Greenwood. It offers a sense of calmness, some relief, a hint of lightness, and through the archway, a vision of perhaps, a new beginning.

I wake each day wondering and worrying whom I know in India and how they are affected by the virus. I see revolving snapshots of what might be happening in the Kahn Market area where density is high, or in Defense Colony where high walls separate families from each other. In my heart, India is my second home, and my grief and level of stress continues until I hear messages from friends as I did early this morning. It was from my dear friend, Sharada, whom I met in 1979, when she was the director of the U.S. Fulbright programs in India. She started her e-mail with "We are still in a state of emergency, which really means a climate of fear, agonized questions, calls to each other to ask : 'Are you all well?' People who once refused vaccinations are now rushing to government centres to get their jabs." She continued about her relief to know that her extended family have now received their second inoculations but that the relief is by no means a respite from taking high degrees of precautions since exiting your front door is like walking into a minefield.

She also wrote that her good friend and neighbor who was in very bad shape is recovering well, with his wife, in the hospital under oxygen. She checks up on him daily on Whatsapp. She added that she woke up this morning and saw on Facebook the news that another friend died over night. How many times have I heard similar stories from her over the last weeks? She told of how sad it is to see how vile human beings can be when one reads about police raids on hoarded stacks of ventilators, oxygen cylinders and medication by unscrupulous people. She asked, "Is there any limit to human greed?"

She ends by saying that she spent some time watching a video by the Dalai Lama about how anger, anxiety and fear in the mind only affect the immunity of the body! "Knowledge is better than Prayer! So that is my goal -- how to get my mind filled with peace and positivity. A daily session every morning to meditate on this goal." She ended her message with the observation that "This too shall pass." It reminds me of Rumi's quote "Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." Perhaps it is ahead under the archway of Phil Greenwood's "Dancing Trees." Pray for India so its souls can find comfort in the safe welcoming grass and lie in peace.

City Webinar: Starting an Initiative Part 2, May 14, 8:30 PDT
Join Charter for Compassion Executive Director Marilyn Turkovich and Program Coordinator Mimi Hicklin as we explore more about building partnerships, aspects of the Communities section of our website, and the Toolbox. We will delve more into how the Charter for Compassion staff and our programs can help strengthen a grass roots team's effort to build a compassionate initiative. Register for the webinar ( ) 8:30-9:30 PDT, May 14, 2021. Check your local times using this date/time converter.

This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 05/11/2021 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the bottom menu, enter your email address and click on subscribe.

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