MattAndJojang's Blog

God. Life. Spirituality.

Charter for Compassion

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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 indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

~ Source:


Written by MattAndJojang

September 23, 2012 at 9:29 am

2 Responses

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  1. I surely do wish this could be handed out to every delegate to the United Nations who’ll be meeting in New York this week, and to every leader of every nation, and to every national governmental official around the world, elected or appointed.

    I wish, as well, that there were a few committed atheists who would be willing to sign on and stand up for the principle of compassion. Not all of the fussing and fighting is among members of faith traditions. Many of those who profess no faith whatsoever seem to assume their disbelief grants them a certain moral and intellectual superiority, not to mention the right to ridicule the traditionally religious.

    How ironic that their allegiance to an assortment of lesser gods can sometimes be stronger than that of folks who profess to live within historic faith traditions.

    Well, New York ought to be interesting this week. On top of everything else, an infamous art work is coming to town for a retrospective exhibition. I suppose it’s too much to hope that everyone just will ignore it.

    Good post, as was your previous one. These are difficult times, for sure, and every bit of wisdom’s to be treasured.


    September 23, 2012 at 10:18 am

  2. It’s sad that we are seeing an escalation of conflict and violence. Moreover, quite a number of these conflicts are caused by religion! Not that there is something wrong with religion per se. But, just like anything else, religion can be misused or abused and hijacked to justify hatred and violence.

    The causes of these conflicts are probably complex. But, from my point view (although this may sound simplistic), it can be probably traced to lack of compassion – of people only thinking of their interests, without regard to the rights and dignity of others.

    It is good if people of good will would really take this Charter of Compassion seriously. By the way, even people who don’t belong to any religion or who don’t believe in God. We may disagree with each other about a lot of things, but, I’m sure, most of us would agree that we are all in dire need to be compassionate to each other.

    ~ Matt


    September 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm

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