“For me, growing up with these experiences was like society wanted me to be ashamed of what I lived through, but as I learned compassion and embraced who I was, I realized that my story, my culture, and my quest to find compassion was the biggest strength that I had.”
FRESNO, Calif. (PRWEB) February 24, 2023
When Felipe Mercado, Ed.D, a California State University professor in its Social Work Department, looks back at his life, one constant ingredient has helped him overcome many personal challenges: compassion.
He illustrates this in his moving and powerful new book called “A Journey to Compassion” which takes readers into various stages of his life as a Latino, sharing raw and authentic experiences from his childhood that have shaped his adulthood. These experiences provide insight into how individuals of color and poverty struggle adversity, lack of self-compassion, and cultural appreciation while growing up in a traumatic environment and community.
By introducing compassion and the concept of “seguir adelante” as a way to discover and sustain our authentic self in a world that often tells us to conform, Mercado hopes to relate his experiences with people of color or in poverty and share how these personal life chapters can be challenging for individuals and groups to embrace their culture, uniqueness, and become their authentic self.
Mercado’s intention for writing his book is to share knowledge and wisdom he wished he had growing up in a tumultuous and chaotic life in Sanger, California. His experiences with his late brother Sammy and his late best friend David gave him the spark to write this work.
As a young teen, Mercado recalled being part of a graffiti crew called Wise Soul with the vision for themselves to grow into wise souls as adults. Each member had specific names and numbers for their identities. Mercado’s name was Epic, David’s name was Firm and his number was 26K.
“The title ‘A Journey to Compassion; Standing Firm in the Face of Pain’ honors these experiences and highlights the wisdom I wish I had to share with my brother Sammy and the message I share with all youth and adults today,” Mercado said. “To be a person of color, who dealt with all that I have in life and to be here to share my story, it felt like my obligation to honor my brother, best friend, and all the youth, families, and communities that I see struggling and believe there may not be hope for people who come from Poverty 4x.”
Mercado presents his life path that included poverty, homelessness, drug addiction, a stay in juvenile hall, fatherhood at a young age, and acceptance to college, making sense of this all with compassion.
“For me, growing up with these experiences was like society wanted me to be ashamed of what I lived through, but as I learned compassion and embraced who I was, I realized that my story, my culture, and my quest to find compassion was the biggest strength that I had,” Mercado said.
He talked about learning about compassion in 2018 by enrolling in a course with the Compassion Institute. It changed his outlook on life and how he could help others in his position as an educator.
“When I finished my year’s journey to become a certified compassion teacher with the Compassion Institute, I felt compelled to make changes in my life, because the way that compassion was having me see myself, my past, and the world around me enlightened me in a way that I had been searching for my whole life,” he said. “By feeling firsthand what compassion could do for a human being, I felt obligated as a social worker, counselor, and educational leader, to create spaces that we could share as human beings and possibly begin to heal the hurt we see in our world today.”
“A Journey to Compassion” is available on Amazon.
About Felipe Mercado:
Dr. Felipe Mercado is a distinguished leader and expert in education, counseling, and social work. He is currently a professor at California State University, Fresno, where he shares his expertise with students in the Social Work Department. As the founder of Wise Soul LLC, Felipe has been able to apply his philosophy of compassion, leadership, and inquiry to support individuals and communities, making a lasting impact on countless lives. With over a decade of practical experience, Dr. Mercado has worked in a variety of roles including as an elementary principal, deputy principal, vice principal, social worker, cultural broker, and counselor. He holds an Ed.D and MSW, which he has leveraged to blend best practices from different disciplines, creating innovative ways of being human together and being productive.
In addition to his impressive work history, Dr. Mercado is a new and upcoming author who has written his first book, A Journey to Compassion: Learning to Stand Firm in the Face of Pain. This book addresses topics such as poverty, compassion, social work, education, and mental health and has been praised for its insightful and practical approach. Dr. Mercado’s extensive experience and expertise have earned him numerous awards and recognition for his contributions to education, counseling, and social work. He is a Certified Compassion Cultivation Teacher with the Compassion Institute and a Mindfulness and Happiness Coach with The World Happiness Academy. Dr. Mercado also has training and experience in Dare 2 Lead, Emotional Intelligence, Trauma-Informed Healing, Compassionate Leadership, Social Work, Counseling, Education, and Administration, which he uses to inform his innovative approaches to teaching, leadership, social work, and counseling. Dr. Mercado’s inspiring pedagogy has motivated countless students, professionals, and individuals, making him a sought-after speaker, coach, and consultant. With his extensive knowledge and passion for helping others, Dr. Mercado is sure to continue making a positive impact in the fields of education, counseling, social work, and youth. ###