The Charter for Compassion
The best idea humanity has ever had…
The Charter for Compassion is a document that transcends religious, ideological, and national differences. Supported by leading thinkers from many traditions, the Charter activates the Golden Rule around the world.
The Charter for 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.
Charter for 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.
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.
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.
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.
On February 28, 2008 Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize and made a wish: for help creating, launching and propagating a Charter for Compassion.
Karen Armstrong wins the TED Prize
Karen Armstrong wins the TED Prize and expresses her wish to have the TED comm... >
Building a partnership
The Charter for Compassion begins to build its partnership network with organizations around the world. Jesse Dylan and hi... >
Charter for Compassion website launches
The Charter for Compassion website launches and people of all faiths, all nations and all backgrounds are invited to submi... >
The Council of Conscience meets
The Council of Conscience meet in Vevey, Switzerland, to take the words of the world and craft the Charter for Compassion.... >
Vancouver Peace Summit
Karen Armstrong participated in a session on compassion in action at the Vancouver Peace Summit with the Dalai Lama and ma... >
The Charter for Compassion is unveiled
More than 75 events took place around the globe to launch the Charter for Compassion on November 12. Charter fo... >
The Charter's one-year anniversary
In celebration of the Charter's first year actor, Rainn Wilson and the team create a video history of the movement and... >
The Charter in 2012
“As part of the city-wide 12 Days of Compassion with Karen Armstrong program, Vancouver announces its campa... >
February 28 2008
September 1 2008
November 12 2008
February 24 2009
September 27 2009
November 12 2009
November 12 2010
March 22 2012
The Charter for Compassion is an open and collaborative effort.
In Fall 2008, people of all nations, all faiths, all backgrounds, submitted their own words for inclusion in the Charter.
The Charter for Compassion is a product of its time, for its time. Using a unique web-based decision making platform, thousands of people from over 100 countries added their voice to the writing of the Charter. In a six-week period, thousands of submissions were entered which were then read and commented upon by over 150,000 visitors. These contributions were then reviewed by the Council of Conscience and incorporated into the final document.
Council of Conscience
The Council of Conscience, a multi-faith, multi-national group of religious thinkers and leaders, reviewed and sorted through all the world's contributions to craft the final Charter. They continue to be vigorous supporters and advocates for the Charter and its message.
The Charter’s call-to-action has inspired people and organizations to activate the golden rule around the world -- in schools, town halls and board rooms.
Compassion is in action from Khairo Dero Village in Pakistan to Louisville, Kentucky. The Campaign for Compassionate Cities alone has nearly 100 aspiring members around the globe.
In 2012 Compassion in business made the topic list at the World Economic Forum in Davos. There are as many ways to create and sustain compassion as there are people with a will to begin. Find out more about the backbone of the Charter for Compassion movement – our partners.
The Charter for Compassion is facilitated by the Compassionate Action Network International (CANI). CANI is a worldwide network whose goal is to advance The Charter and the spirit and practice of the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." We work in diverse ways through various sectors of society--businesses, with cities and communities across the globe, within educational institutions and organizations and with religious congregations and associations--to create and establish cultures of compassion locally and globally. In a world that is deeply troubled and polarized we are committed to making a change. Through forming partnerships and by collaborating with similarly minded organizations we are endeavoring to acknowledge that by thinking and acting compassionately we can create a just world.