The Charter for Compassion

Linked on our blogs with Self-Compassion – a healthier way of relating to yourself.

Published on charter for compassion.org, by Karen Armstrong, unveiled to the world on November 12, 2009 (about).

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 … (full text).

Add your name now: Each additional name makes the compassionate voice a more potent force in the world. Let us make the silent majority a challenge to extremism and hate. Become a part and affirm the Charter.

Links:

The compassionate face of religion, by Karen Armstrong, Oct. 3, 2010;

In the Beginning, by Karen Armstrong, 13 March 2011.

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