California Man's Quest To Define Compassion Comes To Idaho

Jun 19, 2015

Armed with a pen and a notebook, David Breaux waits at 8th and Idaho to talk to anyone about compassion.
Credit Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

For the last six years, a man with a degree from Stanford has been standing on a street corner in California. He holds a pen and a notebook. David Breaux asks each person on the street the same thing: To share their written concept of the word compassion.

He began his quest in 2009.

“And in doing so, [I] found something to it as far as a very valuable, meaningful purpose that I was seeking at the time and decided to make it a lifelong endeavor,” Breaux says.

Since then, Breaux has talked to more than 30,000 people about compassion.

He shared some of those answers in a book, called simply “Compassion: Davis, California.” Last September, he started a compassion tour around the country. This month, he’s standing at the intersection of 8th and Idaho in downtown Boise.

Breaux says Boise residents have been polite and eager to talk to him.

“One of the things people that I’ve come into contact with are yearning for is validation, that they need to be acknowledged by simply having someone listen to them,” says Breaux.

Next month he’ll take his tour to Portland and then Seattle. He says other communities have asked him to visit as well. He also plans to go back to California to finish writing a second book.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

Copyright 2015 Boise State Public Radio