Post Independent opinion: Compassion is spreading like wildfire in the area |

Post Independent opinion: Compassion is spreading like wildfire in the area

There seems to be an epidemic of compassion in the area – and we hope it’s contagious.

The town of Basalt has recently signed on to the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities. Civic leaders agree to try to incorporate into all aspects of life the Golden Rule – treat others as you would like them to treat you.

Good advice. But treating others well is by no means restricted to compassionate cities. It’s been heartwarming to hear about several examples in the past week of people reaching out to help others or working together toward a common goal.

In Silt, two congregations without churches of their own found that each had what the other was missing. The Congregational Church of the Valley had a parcel of land and some money to someday build a church, while members of Iglesia Puerta de Esperanza are building contractors with a supply of labor.

Together, they are now building a church that both congregations will be able to call home. With this project, the Anglo and Hispanic communities are not only building a church but also building trust.

Another example is the opening in Rifle of the Mountain Family Health Centers newest clinic, recently recognized with a grand opening. The mission of the nonprofit, bilingual clinic includes the sentences “We welcome any person in need of care, regardless of ability to pay. We … offer sliding scale programs and other assistance programs for any person who is uninsured.”

With all of the disagreements in the country about the solution to our health insurance crisis, it’s nice to see a group actually doing something about the problem. To underscore the focus on care rather than payment, Executive Director Dave Adamson says, “Feeling good is the most important thing.”

And the newly created local chapter of Bikes for Humanity – B4H Aspen Roaring Fork – is currently collecting bicycles valleywide. The group’s goal is to send 450 bikes to Africa. Perhaps the Roaring Fork Valley could donate some of the extended-frame bikes that have become so popular, as a bike that can carry a load will be even more useful to Africans.

Downvalley shops accepting bikes are Ajax Bike and Sport in Carbondale and Canyon Bikes (in the Hotel Colorado), Mountain Sports Outlet and Sunlight Ski and Bike Shop in Glenwood Springs.

For those who don’t have a bicycle to donate, there is a fundraiser from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Belly Up in Aspen, which will help defray the $15,000 organizers estimate it will cost to ship the bikes to Africa.

Each of these initiatives reminds us to think about the needs of others and that helping to meet those needs will satisfy something within us as well. Call it compassion.

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