“The Compassionate Cities movement is highly necessary, very important in today’s world. I think, globally, we really need a more compassionate attitude.” – Dalai Lama, Louisville, KY 2013
When I introduced the tagline “All American City” seven years ago, it was because of my long held belief that Westland, despite being Michigan’s tenth largest city, populated with 84,000 residents and very urban in appearance, has that quintessential “small town” feel. In Westland neighbors know their neighbors; we bump into acquaintances in the grocer, at the (Westland) Mall, and at the gas station. Westland exudes Midwestern hospitality and a warm welcome to anyone who passes by.
These attributes are but one reason why Westland has embraced the Compassionate Cities movement. I had the honor and privilege to meet the Dalai Lama and his passion, compassion, for humanity was evident and I think we are a city that demonstrates every day that compassion. Westland residents support Relay for Life to fight cancer. We support Mission Green and recycle to be good stewards of Mother Earth. We volunteer our time planting and maintain the community garden so the less fortunate can enjoy fresh and healthy vegetables. Over 300 of us came together to join Buddy Shuh’s Biggest Loser weight loss regimen because we realized that together we could achieve success better than we could alone. We share a desire to be part of something larger than us and to do it together.
So what is the Compassionate Cities movement? It’s connecting with others, joining together to lend a helping hand, to create a kinder, better place to live. It’s volunteering your talents and skills to pre-empt problems, to reduce crime, to protect the environment, to help those who cannot help themselves whether due to age or physical ability. It’s taking positive action to help people and those people are members of our family, our friends, and our neighbors.
I encourage you to join the Compassionate Cities movement and get involved. Whether through a group with which you already belong such as the VFW, PTO or Goodfellows, or as an individual, please join us as we work with a shared purpose - to make Westland a Compassionate City.
William R. Wild
“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.” -Henri Nouwen