I know this sounds corny, or Pollyannaish, but I’m going to say it anyway:
I play the Compassion Games because I believe that playing makes me act with intentional compassion toward others. I believe that engaging in play helps us learn. I believe that my participating in this game makes a difference, bringing a small portion of peace to my tiny piece of the world.
At first, when I played last year, I was less enthusiastic about one aspect of the game: submitting reports to the Compassion Map. I felt uncomfortable boasting about Random Acts of Kindness that I performed. I felt strange writing about how my playing the game made an impact on me. I wondered if reporting about my good deeds somehow devalued them.
This year, the timing of the games is right in the middle of the month of Elul, which begins a season of repentance in the Jewish calendar. This is a time for reviewing our actions of the previous year, and making amends with others prior to the High Holidays, RoshHaShanah and Yom Kippur. Rosh HaShanah , the Jewish New Year, is also called Yom HaDin, the Day of Judgement, when God reviews our actions of the previous year and inscribes us in the Book of Life. On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, often considered the holiest day of the year, we stand before God and pray to be cleansed of our past sins and allowed to begin anew. Mapping my actions during these first two days of the Compassion Games has already helped me with my spiritual preparation for the coming holy days. Writing about acts of compassion makes them less random and more tangible.
I recommend the Compassion Games as a tool for personal growth and as a means for making positive change in the world and promoting peace. I invite you to play with me—if you want to play on my team, please submit your reports using the hashtag CompassionateAtlanta—or to join your city’s team, or to play as an individual.
By the way, it’s easy to submit your reports: there’s an app for that, of course.