When Karen Armstrong had the idea that we needed a Charter for Compassion to help guide our way forward into the 21st century, the TED organization asked the world to contribute their ideas about what should be in such a Charter. When we were a little more grounded in our ideas about helping to create compassionate communities, we asked people who were engaged in addressing the grave concerns of their cities what they needed. These two online requests resulted in a document and a process. Now it is time for another landmark adventure; the creation of a set of principles that speak to decent behavior. Would you please direct your thoughts towards this goal and send us your ideas? We'd like to publish them online and then arrive at a point where we do something with the information. I'm taking a risk, and offering up a few ideas:
- Refrain from stealing (other people's property, country, or personhood).
- Give back what has been stolen (make reparations).
- Do no harm (e.g., don't direct bombs where innocent people gather, or challenge an individual's right to choose whom they love).
- Dismantle weapons of mass destruction.
- Strive for excellence but don't expect to obtain it. Be kind to yourself.
- Be a trusted ally and act in solidarity with others.
- Take direction from those who are oppressed.
- Use your voice to speak out against injustice.
- Act as the Mayans, thank the land before you take a hoe to it.
- Recognize that we are all part of the web of nature, and act thoughtfully, and with care.
- Demand that those you select to speak on your behalf do just that.
Please don't write and tell me these are lofty pie-in-the-sky, idealist principles. I know that. Though at times I feel a bit daft, I also know that we can aim for the ideal and settle for what is more suitable to what we are enduring right now.
Remember, stretch your imagination, and send us your thoughts.
With warm regards,
This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 7/2/2022 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu; in the newsletter section, enter your email address and click on subscribe.