The Charter for Compassion International has developed a four-part model or framework for building a Compassionate Community. In many ways, the model is similar to other models for organizing a community-building effort. The objectives of various efforts are usually related to the well-being of the community, e.g., improved healthcare, decreased crime, increased assets for youth, economic improvement, and increased resilience. The CCI, too, is interested in the well-being of communities and applauds all of these efforts since many of them do indeed address pain and suffering within the community. The difference in the Charter’s model may be understood as a difference in perspective and intention. Those working to create Compassionate Communities are moved through empathy to compassionate action—a desire to address pain and suffering wherever it occurs--not only in their own communities but in all communities and for all living beings everywhere. That perspective is perhaps best articulated by the Dalai Lama:
"When we are motivated by compassion and wisdom, the results of our actions benefit everyone, not just our individual selves or some immediate convenience. When we are able to recognize and forgive ignorant actions of the past, we gain strength to constructively solve the problems of the present.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV
Grounded in the concepts of the Charter for Compassion this model is intended to guide your process, and to provide a place to begin. It can and should be adapted to the unique circumstances of any community that seeks to become a Compassionate Community. Each of the four broad phases (noted below) includes more specific steps along with stories and examples that you may find helpful and even inspiring. Depending on the community, its particular issues, and available resources, this process may take from one or more years from “discover” to “launch.”
Explore the four phases:
- Phase 1: Discover and Assess
- Phase 2: Focus and Commit
- Phase 3: Build and Launch
- Phase 4: Evaluate and Sustain
This sections of the Tool Box chapter on Spirituality and Community Buildinghas been written with the support and contributions of experts connected with the Charter for Compassion International and simultaneously appear here and on the University of Kansas' Community Tool Box.
What Is Meant by “Spiritual”?
How Can Spiritual Assets Facilitate Community Building?
What Conditions Are Most Favorable for the Expression of Spiritual Assets?
How Spiritual Assets Can Be Used
Some Examples of Spiritual Assets in Practice
Developing Spiritual Assets
Some Challenges and Issues in Applying Spiritual Assets
Spiritual qualities, such as compassion and justice, are often directly connected with the work of community building. In this chapter, we hope to examine those qualities, or assets, to show how they have been used in practice, and how you can use them for greater effectiveness in your own community-building work.
- An Overview
- Being Compassionate
- Being Compassionate Towards Others
- Forgiveness and Reconciliation
- Promoting Peace
“Spirituality” refers to the qualities that inspire us to do what is right and good – for ourselves and for others. This chapter is about those qualities—and their application in one’s personal, professional, and community life.
See the expanded menu of the Charter Tool Box here.
The Charter for Compassion International has gratefully collaborated with the Community Tool Box, which is a public service of the University of Kansas. It is developed and managed by the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development and partners nationally and internationally. The Community Tool Box is a part of the KU Work Group’s role as a designated World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development.
Within the Charter Tool Box, you will find relevant references to the University of Kansas’ Community Tool Box, a rich and valuable resource for those who are building Compassionate Communities. We encourage you to make use of these useful tools as you build your own Compassionate Community. The Community Tool Box team at the University Kansas help the Charter team develop our own Charter Tool Box found in this section.
Our own model for building Compassionate Communities can be found on the University of Kansas’ Community Tool Box website.
On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.
For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.
Do you want to get involved? You can start by telling everyone about them. Here is a list of actions that you can take in your everyday life to contribute to a sustainable future.