Compassion Should Be Universal

I’ve posted about the Charter for Compassion before. In this post about a year ago, I said:

Do you want to help solve one of the world’s great problems? This has to be as important as clean energy: religious fundamentalism turning into violence and hatred. The darker side of humanity seems at its worst when powered by misguided religious fervor.

“Misguided” is the active word there. All major religions have some variation on what I learned as the golden rule — do unto others as you would have others do unto you– at their core. Despite that, some religiously oriented groups preach violence and hatred.

And now it’s just about a year later, and I stand by those words. And that organization, the Charter for Compassion, is now organizing a second annual global event, for Nov. 12.

Can we think about compassion for just a moment? Compassion is caring for other people. It’s very easy to translate into a business context if you just think about caring for customers, employees, vendors, and owners. There’s no down side. Right? I’ve called it empathy on occasion and posted here and here on this blog about how empathy can help a business.

And of course it’s even more obvious that compassion is essential to happiness, good relationships, mental health, and the survival of the human race. Right?

Why then does it feel oddly out of place to be writing about compassion here, as if I’m getting too “touchy-feely” or something like that? That’s weird, isn’t it? Is there anyplace where compassion isn’t a good thing?

The two-minute video here is very eloquent. And if you don’t see it in this site, there are links below to take you to the source.

CHARTER FOR COMPASSION TRAILER from TED Prize on Vimeo.

Compassion isn’t liberal or conservative, or Western or Eastern, or about one particular god or many gods. It’s not a code word for something else. It’s the human condition. I hope.  Here’s more from the site:

There is an urgent need for a new focus on compassion.
Bringing together voices from all cultures and religions, the Charter seeks to remind the world we already share the core principles of compassion.
On November 12, thousands of people across the globe will listen together.
Participate and engage with the Charter now at charterforcompassion.org

2 thoughts on “Compassion Should Be Universal

  1. Hey, Tim. I don’t think writing about compassion is cheesy and touchy-feely.

    I think it is one of the ingredients to become a better mover in the community, a better parent, a better sibling, a better lover, a better entrepreneur, and of course, becoming a better person.

    Keep those posts coming!

  2. Great post. You define compassion as caring for other people. I would go a step further and say compassion is caring about all life. I would also say true compassion is radical and counter-cultural because it will ALWAYS require something of us; something that we have or are that matters a lot and which we don’t necessarily desire to lay down in the name of compassion for others.

    And this is why I think we live in a world that is generally NOT compassionate and why Karen Armstrong’s charter is so important.

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