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It May Not Be As Ludicrous As It Seems

It May Not Be As Ludicrous As It Seems

When Karen Armstrong had the idea that we needed a Charter for Compassion to help guide our way forward into the 21st century, the TED organization asked the world to contribute their ideas about what should be in such a Charter. When we were a little more grounded in our ideas about helping to create compassionate communities, we asked people who were engaged in addressing the grave concerns of their cities what they needed. These two online requests resulted in a document and a process. Now it is time for another landmark adventure; the creation of a set of principles that speak to decent behavior. Would you please direct your thoughts towards this goal and send us your ideas? We'd like to publish them online and then arrive at a point where we do something with the information. I'm taking a risk, and offering up a few ideas:

  • Refrain from stealing (other people's property, country, or personhood).
  • Give back what has been stolen (make reparations).
  • Do no harm (e.g., don't direct bombs where innocent people gather, or challenge an individual's right to choose whom they love).
  • Dismantle weapons of mass destruction.
  • Strive for excellence but don't expect to obtain it. Be kind to yourself.
  • Be a trusted ally and act in solidarity with others.
  • Take direction from those who are oppressed.
  • Use your voice to speak out against injustice.
  • Act as the Mayans, thank the land before you take a hoe to it.
  • Recognize that we are all part of the web of nature, and act thoughtfully, and with care.
  • Demand that those you select to speak on your behalf do just that.

Please don't write and tell me these are lofty pie-in-the-sky, idealist principles. I know that. Though at times I feel a bit daft, I also know that we can aim for the ideal and settle for what is more suitable to what we are enduring right now.

Remember, stretch your imagination, and send us your thoughts. 

With warm regards,

Marilyn Turkovich


This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 7/2/2022 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu; in the newsletter section, enter your email address and click on subscribe.  

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Comments 6

Guest
Guest - marcia perryman on Sunday, 03 July 2022 06:46

be truthful even when your citizens might be angry
support the vulnerable intentionally and constantly
invite citizens to be a part of the rebuilding of your society
intellectually challenge your citizens even at a risk of no election
get to know the other and invite them to be a part of your society - welcome all.

be truthful even when your citizens might be angry support the vulnerable intentionally and constantly invite citizens to be a part of the rebuilding of your society intellectually challenge your citizens even at a risk of no election get to know the other and invite them to be a part of your society - welcome all.
Guest
Guest - Hoyt Cory on Sunday, 03 July 2022 11:51

We belong to the Earth, the Earth does not belong to us.
People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
Live well and share.
Don't believe everything you think.
Service before self.

We belong to the Earth, the Earth does not belong to us. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Live well and share. Don't believe everything you think. Service before self.
Guest
Guest - Gloria Ulterino on Sunday, 03 July 2022 12:06

My comments:
Add "speak respectfully out of your deepest selves."
Add to "Be a trusted ally... for peace and just relationships."

My comments: Add "speak respectfully out of your deepest selves." Add to "Be a trusted ally... for peace and just relationships."
Guest
Guest - Savannah Hawkins on Monday, 04 July 2022 05:21

Please include listening, as few people do that nowadays.

Please include listening, as few people do that nowadays.
Guest
Guest - Kb on Monday, 04 July 2022 11:35

The timeless virtue of consideration for others deserves to be taught again, learned again and spread. This time around it deserves to be taught, learned and spread as an extension of self care, worth, value.

The timeless virtue of consideration for others deserves to be taught again, learned again and spread. This time around it deserves to be taught, learned and spread as an extension of self care, worth, value.
Guest
Guest - Jay Moore on Thursday, 07 July 2022 07:55

When you ask us to contribute to "a set of principles that speak to decent behavior," I think of a couple of things. First, I am a Unitarian and our movement is based on eight principles that guide us toward decent behaviour and more. They are as follows:
We, the member congregations of the Canadian Unitarian Council, covenant to affirm and promote:


The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and systemic barriers to full inclusion in ourselves and our institutions.

Those are pretty good in my view.

Second, when I asked myself why should we be compassionate at all rather than self-centred, I wondered what it is that underlies compassion. I believe the source of compassion is rooted in biology. We can observe that mammals experience empathy with other creatures. Empathy takes place in our bodies. It's biological and, therefore, basic to our existence and essential to our survival. One expression of empathy, as it passes through our human minds, is compassion. Compassion is the basis if "decent behaviour" in my opinion. Therefore, the chain looks like this: biology > empathy > compassion > decency.

When you ask us to contribute to "a set of principles that speak to decent behavior," I think of a couple of things. First, I am a Unitarian and our movement is based on eight principles that guide us toward decent behaviour and more. They are as follows: We, the member congregations of the Canadian Unitarian Council, covenant to affirm and promote: The inherent worth and dignity of every person; Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations; A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Individual and communal action that accountably dismantles racism and systemic barriers to full inclusion in ourselves and our institutions. Those are pretty good in my view. Second, when I asked myself why should we be compassionate at all rather than self-centred, I wondered what it is that underlies compassion. I believe the source of compassion is rooted in biology. We can observe that mammals experience empathy with other creatures. Empathy takes place in our bodies. It's biological and, therefore, basic to our existence and essential to our survival. One expression of empathy, as it passes through our human minds, is compassion. Compassion is the basis if "decent behaviour" in my opinion. Therefore, the chain looks like this: biology > empathy > compassion > decency.
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Thursday, 02 February 2023
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