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What Changes


What Changes

My father's hopes travel with me
years after he died. Someday
we will learn how to live. All of us
surviving without violence
never stop dreaming how to cure it.
What changes? Crossing a small street
in Doha Souk, nut shops shuttered,
a handkerchief lies crumpled in the street,
maroon and white, like one my father had,
from Jordan. Perfectly placed
in his pocket under his smile, for years.
He would have given it to anyone.
How do we continue all these days?

~Naomi Shihab Nye

The poem above by Naomi Shihab Nye is called "What Changes." There is no question mark in the title of this poem. I'm sure it is deliberate. Compassionate Houston will be hosting Naomi and singer-songwriter, Michael Gott on June 15, as part of their anniversary celebration. If you want comfort for the angst we feel, and if you have the time, please register for the event. It is free. I turned to this poem because of one line: "Someday we will learn how to live."

I want to offer condolences to the people of Canada for the deliberate murder of four members of a Muslim family in London, Ontario, a few days ago and for the discovery of an unmarked grave holding the remains of more than 200 indigenous children in Kamloops, British Colombia. This was not the first mass grave to be uncovered, and quite likely it will not be the last. The Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission condemned Canada for committing cultural genocide by removing more than 150,000 indigenous children from their homes in the past. There is so much sorrow to be reminded of and endured by the people of Canada in a short period of time. Tragic is the fact that there are far too many nations that have committed atrocities of this kind to other vulnerable populations.

What changes will be uncovered for us--whether locked in history or occurring in the moment? Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canada's living legend of song, expressed it by saying, "The genocide basic to this country's birth is ongoing and we need to face it together, and I ask for your compassion." Genocide, whether perpetuated in a residential school or on the streets of London, is an intent to destroy a group of people. None of us can be spared from stopping genocide; anywhere. As Naomi reminds us, what changes do we envision?

with warm regards,


This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 06/14/2021 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu, in the newsletter section enter your email address and click on subscribe.  

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What You Allow Will Continue
Compassion in PRIDE


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Thursday, 01 June 2023
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