August 26, 2014



Tonight David addressed the Davis City Council during public comment. After five years in Davis–much of which time was spent standing on the corner of 3rd and C–he is embarking next week on a twelve-month Compassion Tour.  During his time here, he met and spoke with thousands of people and collected thousands of written concepts of the word compassion. He amassed many notebooks. He observed and learned a lot.

This is what he shared last night with the Council and public:


Farewell dear friends. I am embarking on a journey to bring awareness to compassion in different communities worldwide, an amplification of what I began here in Davis on June 3rd, 2009. I am grateful for all the support at the corner of 3rd and C from passers-by who have shown their generosity and appreciation. I am grateful to the city for the acceptance of the Compassion Corner Earthbench as a gift, recognizing compassion as a value it embraces.

I am here this evening to provide a viewpoint which I believe only I can share.

There is a deep, deep hunger in this city—an appetite for healing.

For the past five years at the corner, I have listened to thousands of people—young college women who struggle with how to eat healthy, other college students bound to graduate with absolutely no solid aspirations afterwards, those that have loss loved ones, young men searching for the guidance of their forefathers, some people whose bodies are stricken with tumors and cancer, men of color who seem to fit the description of some phantom criminal, the agony and despair of a mother whose daughter was raped, and empty skeletons whose derelict bodies roam endlessly, inflated by caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or meth.

So I feel I am justified in saying there is a veil that exists locally that covers the desperate hearts of vagabond souls. Whether those souls wander indoors or outdoors, they are here within the city, crying out for help.

The answers toward healing do not lie in such things as an armored tank—which is like a parent giving you a gun for your birthday just in case you need to threaten one of your kids—nor in covering street lights so we can gaze at the stars while a human being at our feet begs for security, nor in complaining that someone snores too loudly.

The answer will be found in how we treat one another as human beings with the daily medicine of love and compassion. Compassion begins with truly listening, in acknowledging all people, in coming to a mutual understanding, and taking the appropriate action based on that understanding and doing so with an honest and loyal commitment toward well-being.

The challenge is to release the tranquilizing euphoria of a blinding affluence and engage in heart-to-heart communication to address the reality of human relations that take place in this community. The challenge is to mature beyond the sophomoric attitude taken at the level defined by egotistical analysis, maturing toward wisdom, truth, and a deeper understanding for the well-being of all of Davis’s citizens.

I am an optimist, which makes me confident that, with compassion at the forefront of leadership, this community will bring the power of Love from an ideal to a reality.


Over the course of the next year, David will travel to numerous cities and towns. He will speak about compassion. He will listen. He will share his experiences and observations. I am so looking forward to what unfolds for him on this journey.

First stop: Keene, NY.