Friday, 13 November 2009

Charter for compassion is unveiled

The Charter for Compassion was unveiled on 12th November 2009.

The Charter is about compassion action as much as compassionate thought.

Even so, I have a project to learn the Charter for Compassion off by heart (in english first - I might try a few other language versions after that, but english will be a start), and I invite you to do the same. Leave a comment if you want to join me in that project.

I read some more stuff on the CfC web site and was struck particularly by how the aim is for Compassion Action as much as it is for Compassion Thought. On the other hand, I think in the same way that meditations and poems and prayers work, knowing the charter well enough to be able to reproduce it from memory will have the effect of reminding myself about it more regularly and hence having it manifest more in my actions as well.

Here is the charter for compassion in English:

For all the different language versions, visit charterforcompassion.org



"The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

"It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

"We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

"We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community."

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