love thursday: charter for compassion
The lightcatcher I purchased for Alex's nursery in 2003, even before we met her. It has followed her everywhere, and continues to be a fixture in her bedroom.
Some time ago, a reader asked me if I would discuss my faith on Chookooloonks -- and you probably notice that I haven't. It's not that I don't have a faith -- I do, of sorts -- but I've always thought that my religious or spiritual practice (or lack thereof) was sort of moot, particularly here on the site. I'm far more interested in the practice of kindness, irrespective of my faith or the faiths of those of you who join me so kindly here on Choookooloonks.
It is therefore with some intrigue that I discovered and learned more about the Charter for Compassion, a manifestation of the wish of a former TED prize winner, Karen Armstrong. Ms. Armstrong is a former nun who has written and spoken extensively about religion, and the creation of this charter was her wish on winning the prize. She avers that at the root of all religions, essentially, is a message of compassion with a basis in the Golden Rule, and that in modern times, we have forgotten this: we often use religions to divide each other, rather than unite each other. And so her strongest desire was the creation of this charter:
The Charter of Compassion is a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life. Compassion is the principled determination to put ourselves in the shoes of the other, and lies at the heart of all religious and ethical systems. One of the most urgent tasks of our generation is to build a global community where men and women of all races, nations and ideologies can live together in peace. In our globalized world, everybody has become our neighbor, and the Golden Rule has become an urgent necessity.
In other words, regardless whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or atheist, or practice (or don't practice) any other faith system, the point of us all living here together on this planet is to show each other kindness and compassion. Not only that, it is imperative that we become more compassionate, in order for us to make it.
Now that's a philosophy I can get behind.
As it so happens, the Charter launches today, on Love Thursday -- how fantastic is that? So I invite you to take a look at the site and see what you think. And as always, I invite you to share your stories or links to words or images of love in the comments section, below.
Here's to making it a more compassionate world, starting today.