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.
"Do not do unto others what you do not want them to do to you. All the traditions have developed their own version of what has been called the Golden Rule, “the corollary of which is you reap what you sow.” The various traditions have insisted on the primacy of this single thread that pulls all aspects of a tradition together; that everything else is supportive commentary to help us realize what the words are intended to create; and that following it faithfully is the sign of a person of peace who can be trusted. It requires that we first look into our own minds and hearts, discover what gives us pain, and refuse to project or inflict that pain elsewhere."
Unitarian-Universalism, United States
"The whole point of education - the entire thrust of intelligence, if you will - is to lead people to become curious… interested in the world around them and the beings that populate it. Certainly there should be no witting censorship, but, of course, material should be presented with sensitivity to the needs and capacities of the learner… Education and learning should become a key point for all members of society from the youngest to the oldest."
"Past and present are trampolines for discovery and greater understanding of how ideas and dreams became realities, what worked and what didn’t, and why. Enough memorization and regurgitation, knowledge is infinite in its expression, give students voice, teach the language of dialogue and exploration, let it become craft so they can harness and shape their imagination and visions for the future."
Buddhism, United States
"Religious leaders need to ensure that compassion is understood as part of a dynamic conceptual system that includes courage and wisdom. Compassion without courage is ineffective, and compassion without wisdom can be counter-productive, leading to needless self-sacrifice and destructiveness. Only when compassion is generated together with courage and wisdom can it empower individuals, communities, and humankind as a whole to bring out the best in people towards happiness and peace."
Buddhism, United States
"With every day that passes, the danger grows that the rising fires of religious prejudice will ignite a worldwide conflagration, the consequences of which are unthinkable. Civil government, unaided, cannot overcome such a danger. Nor should we delude ourselves that appeals for mutual tolerance can alone hope to extinguish animosities that claim to possess Divine sanction. The crisis calls on religious leadership for a break with the past as decisive as those that opened the way for society to address equally corrosive prejudices of race, gender and nation. At this turning point in the history of civilization, a climacteric undreamt of even a few decades ago, the demands of service to the global community could not be clearer. The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity, a unity amidst pluralism, a unity amidst multiplicity, is firmly established. This is the action that world leaders in the field of religion must bend their hearts and minds toward if appeals to compassion are to have any effect among the cynical and skeptical masses on the planet."