CHARTER FOR COMPASSION LAUNCHED TODAY-DRAFT ONE


Karen Armstrong unveils Charter for Compassion
Armstrong calls for a return to the golden rule

NOVEMBER 12, 2009 - The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education is pleased to share Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion which was unveiled globally today.

From The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education "< dalailamacenter@dalailamacenter.org >"

The Charter brings together the voices from all cultures and spiritual/faith communities to remind the world that we all share the core principle of compassion. The Charter proclaims a principle embraced by every faith and by every moral code, religious or otherwise. It is often referred to as the golden rule, which requires that we use empathy -- moral imagination -- to put ourselves in others' shoes. We should act toward them as we would want them to act toward us. We should refuse, under any circumstance, to carry out actions which would cause them harm.

People from all over the world have contributed to the Charter; it transcends religious, ideological and national differences; it has been composed by leading thinkers from many traditions with passion, insight, intellectual conviction and hope. It was officially unveiled this morning in Washington DC and you can read the Charter in its entirety below.


Charter for Compassion

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..

For more information about the Charter for Compassion go to "< charterforcompassion.org > "

The DLC invites you to:
* Commit to extend your care for the world through daily acts of compassion throughout the week and beyond or initiate shared acts of compassion as part of a community or faith group.
* Find and take part in an event in your community or workplace.


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Comment by MommaToldMeNotToCome on November 13, 2009 at 11:22pm
TO iPEACE ADMINISTRATION:

IT IS AN HONOR TO HAVE THIS BLOG FEATURED ON iPEACE. THE FASTER WORD OF THE "CHARTER OF COMPASSION" GETS OUT, THE SOONER PEACEFUL PEOPLE CAN START DOING WHAT THEY CAN TO PROMOTE PEACE WITHIN THEIR OWN LIVES AND THE LIFE OF THEIR COMMUNITIES. THUS WILL WE BUILD UP A TIDAL WAVE OF GOODWILL AND FRIENDSHIP THAT WILL ONE DAY ENGULF THE WORLD.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!
--CHRISTIE

Comment by MommaToldMeNotToCome on November 13, 2009 at 1:12pm
Thank you David. It is indeed time that the world put a stop to unprincipled leaders who use their own less than `divine interpretations`of the holy scriptures of their professed faith as justification for sacrificing their citizens like cattle to the slaughter in unnecessary warfare, in order to increase their own personal power and wealth.
Comment by David Gould on November 13, 2009 at 11:38am
"* to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate"

This applies to all religions including Christianity as much as to Jewish Faith and Islam. It is a rule we need to constantly re-enforce in this world where so many crimes are carried out in the name of religion. We need to see these crimes for what they are and not be blinded by the faith they purport to support.
Comment by MommaToldMeNotToCome on November 13, 2009 at 8:17am
When I was a child the schools I attended had a copy of the Golden Rule on a wall in every classroom. We said the Lords Prayer and sang Oh Canada, our national anthem, every morning before getting down to work. In the afternoon we sang God Save the Queen before being dismissed for the day. I'm not advocating a return of any of those measures, but I do think our forefathers of several hundred years ago, being so much closer to the roots of Christianity and other faiths that subscribed to the same morals and ethics, were on the right track when they put together the "Golden Rule." A plain and very simple message of goodwill toward others but oh so hard to live up to, when all is said and done. I do my best to follow it and raised my children to do the same. Thank you Quintus for your thoughtful comment.
Comment by Adolphus Francis Quintus Andradi on November 13, 2009 at 7:19am
Yes, we need to transcend selfishness, which is at the base that brings about misery to humanity and learn to generate compassion wrth the aim of bringing down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries by begining to love oneself in a deeper and a spiritual sense, so that we will be able to understand and love others as one loves oneself and do unto them as one would wish others to do unto himself

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