David Breaux rubs linseed oil on the Compassion Earthbench built last year by hundreds of community volunteers at Compassion Corner, Third and C streets. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

Local News

He’ll spread his passion for compassion far and wide

By From page A5 | May 23, 2014

You can help

What: Compassion Tour fundraising dinner

When: 5:30-8 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Davis Community Church Fellowship Hall, 421 D St.

Tickets: $20 for adults, $10 for students and children, available at Farmer’s Kitchen, the Style Lounge Hair Salon, Boheme Used Hip Clothing, Ali Baba’s Restaurant, Newsbeat and Vini Wine Bar

Info: http://compassionguy.ning.com

David H. Breaux has been standing quietly at the corner of Third and C streets in downtown Davis since 2009. Five years ago, after some tumult in his own life, he looked inward and, after some soul-wrenching inquiry, dedicated himself to compassion, to the simple task of asking people to share their written concept of the word.

He came to Davis, pen and notebook in hand, and has stood on the downtown corner ever since. He has been listening …listening to the thousands of people who have stopped and talked, shared and opened their hearts.

Breaux has heard many stories, and those stories have deepened his commitment to compassion and moved him forward in his journey. In 2011, he published a book, “Compassion: Davis, CA,” that presented the unedited definitions of thousands of people.

In 2013, he worked with local artists Mark Rivera, Brennan Blazer Bird and a few hundred community volunteers to build the Compassion Corner Earthbench, an ongoing monument to compassion in Davis.

Where will the journey take David Breaux next?

Breaux has been listening to his own heart, and his heart continues to speak clearly to the simple idea of spreading the word of compassion. How? In the past year, he and a small group of friends have been meeting and talking about how, and out of those conversations has come the idea of Breaux going to other cities and doing there what he does here … standing quietly, inviting people to share.

And that idea has grown into the “Compassion Tour.”

This fall, Breaux will leave his post at Third and C and embark on a yearlong compassion tour. He plans to travel around the country and stay for a month in each of 12 cities, which are being chosen based on their commitment to compassion. Keen, New York, and Louisville, Kentucky, are confirmed, and two dozen others are under consideration.

Breaux will document his experiences along the way via his blog and at the end of the year, he plans to publish another book.

Friends are organizing a fundraising dinner from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the Davis Community Church Fellowship Hall, 421 D St. Robb Davis, a friend and longtime supporter of Breaux’s work, will emcee the evening, which will include a silent auction and raffle. Breaux also will speak about his journey and provide an overview of the Compassion Tour.

Local chef Mary Philip and her volunteer crew have offered to prepare and serve an authentic Indian buffet, and local jazz artist Packard Slim will provide musical entertainment.

Says Kristin Stoneking, a member of the planning team, “David’s work is to create spaces where compassion can flourish; he’s done that through his work at the Compassion Corner. All of Davis, especially the Core Area, has benefited.

“The Compassion Tour Dinner is a way to help David further his work to other communities so that spaces for compassion can multiply. This is a chance to pay it forward. I’m delighted with the way our community has gotten behind this project.”

The entire community is invited to attend the dinner. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and children, and are available at Farmer’s Kitchen, the Style Lounge Hair Salon, Boheme Used Hip Clothing, Ali Baba’s Restaurant, Newsbeat and Vini Wine Bar.

More information about the tour and Breaux’s work can be found at http://compassionguy.ning.com. For further information about the dinner, contact Breaux at [email protected]

Kari Peterson

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