by Lesa Walker
For compassion to be real, we need to know what it is, commit to it, and then do it. The Charter for Compassion is the culmination of global input, thought, and wisdom, resulting in a common message and definition for compassion. When we affirm the Charter, we align ourselves with the “Thought” and “Word.”
We also need a method to actualize compassion and translate the “Word” into our everyday lives. The Compassion Relays are a way to do that. The Relays emphasize the importance of daily awareness, discovery, and action with the goal of establishing a lifelong habit of compassion. When we participate in the Relays, we acknowledge and commit to the importance of the “Deed” and ultimate habit.
Affirming the Charter for Compassion and doing the daily practice of compassion via the Compassion Relays are two of the the most fundamental and universal expressions of compassion (the simplest common denominators). Representing the simplicity and power of thought, word, deed, and habit, they are the two things that literally any person, anywhere, anytime can do to address all 3 dimensions of compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth).
From our personal commitment and practice is where we gain awareness, inspiration, motivation, and stamina (fitness) to organize, participate, and sustain our involvement in the larger group, community, and global projects. Personal transformation is the path to world transformation.
Essential to our personal “Thought,” “Word,” and “Deed” are support and community. We nurture, sustain, and expand our commitment and practice via our networks and partners. The Charter for Compassion International serves this purpose by joining people together as Charter Partners at the local, regional, national, and global levels and through global initiatives such as the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities. The Compassion Relays connect everyone with compassion via the passing of the Compassion Torch, person to person and group to group. The Relays mobilize action and herald the Compassion Games in September. Let’s bring compassion to life! Through the cornerstones of our “Thought,” “Word,” and “Deed” we build lifelong habits and establish the foundation on which we build a world of compassion.