Watch the video!: Brattleboro, a town of 12,600 people in South-East Vermont, joined the Charter for Compassion in 2017, the town citizens voting overwhelmingly in support of the Charter. The Compassionate Brattleboro group has been active ever since in activities to strengthen compassion in their community.
The accompanying video hosted by James Levinson and Douglas Cox highlights the many community events and programs, a series of 6 compassion-themed conversations, and recently forged relationships with communities in India, Haiti, El Salvador and Kenya, are bringing Compassion to the forefront of their community and their community’s relationship with its surroundings and indeed, the world. Future plans include plans for trust-building exercises, active listening learning and begin to have those difficult conversations on often devisive topics. Watch their video to learn more!
Compassionate Ballarat remembers with Monumental Events
An enduring example of our social infrastructure is the music memorial held each year since 1915 to honour the entire band of the Titanic who were lost in the ships sinking. The actions of those musicians, led by bandmaster Wallace Hartley is seen as one of the greatest acts off self-sacrifice in both maritime and musical history. In 1912 the bandsman’s attending Ballarat’s South Street competitions decided that a fitting tribute would be a bandstand, and by 1915 that bandstand had been built and opened. Each year a commemoration is held to both remember the Titanic band, and a musician who has passed away in the previous year. This year the musician that was honored was the muezzin of the Al Noor mosque in New Zealand, Doctor Abdas Samad, who was among the 50 people murdered by a gunman in March 2019. Dr Samad was a frequent leader of the call to prayer at the Al Noor mosque, and taught at Lincoln University. Muezzin is a call to prayer, presented with joy and dedication to the community, as is all music. In 2019 the Titanic Memorial Band commemorated the 107th anniversary of the ocean liner's demise, by inviting Muhammed Iqbal Qaseem of the Ballarat Mosque to do a call to prayer. The Titanic Memorial Band, which comprises invited members, including of the Eureka Brass, also played a program of songs that included Nearer My God To Thee, which was performed by Titanic's band as the ship began to sink in an effort to calm and assuage those passengers trapped on board.
Sahil's Ted Talk -- Disagreement: An Essential Part of Pluralism
In his TEDx Talk, Sahil expands the Golden Rule to the way we treat and really respect other people’s ideas. He also explains that intellectual diversity means disagreement. Without difference, intellectual diversity or pluralism is impossible. In other words, if we already all agree, there is no diversity.
An Interview with Dr Karen Armstrong: The Golden Rule and Religion
The.Ismaili brings you Sahil Badruddin’s interview with Karen Armstrong, an internationally acclaimed scholar andbestselling author of numerous books on religion. She won the 2008 TED Prize launching The Charter for Compassion, which has over two million signatories. She discussed her insights on compassion, the Golden Rule, nationalism, materialism, cosmopolitan ethics, religious literacy, the future of religion, perceptions of religious people, religious institutions, personal search, and her vision for the future.
Co-Human Harmony: Using Our Shared Humanity to Bridge Divides
by Gudjon Bergmann
People are tired of the divisiveness and acrimony that permeates our society. They are seeking real, down-to-earth, and achievable bridge-building methods that go beyond clichés and platitudes. In response to an ever-growing need, Rev. Gudjon Bergmann, founder and lead educator at Harmony Interfaith Initiative, gathered ideas, tools, and strategies from Nobel Peace Prize laureates, ethicists, interfaith leaders, civil rights icons, ancient prophets, sociologists, and psychologist, with an intent focus on bridging divides. The outcome is a unique composition for people who are interested in working towards a harmonious society. The overarching goal is to improve relations between those who have strong ideological disagreements about everything from religion and politics to diet and spirituality. Described as “refreshing,” “succinct, clear, and profound,” and “offering practical and powerful wisdom,” this earnest opus offers a soothing tonic to counter the disharmony in the world.
The Best of Times, The Worst of Times
by Ruth Broyde Sharone
Is the world becoming more compassionate or more hateful? This prickly question is eloquently answered in the opening paragraph of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of revolution in France, A Tale of Two Cities (1859). Although Dickens was writing about “radical opposites” in places like London and Paris 160 years ago, he could easily have been writing a column in the New Yorker about the confusing dichotomies present in our domestic and global situation today.
Interview: “Compassion is essential to our survival”
Is compassion an antidote to our global problems? According to Karen Armstrong, it is our only chance of averting global catastrophe. At the end of November, the British historian of religion will present the annual Compassion Prize in Amsterdam: “I am hoping that there will be some international initiatives,” she says. In early November, Karen Armstrong and her team celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Charter for Compassion in Canada, during the Parliament of World Religions in Toronto. For a decade, they have been attempting to propagate the practice of compassion worldwide. When the 74-year-old former nun won the prestigious TED Prize in 2008, she decided to use the prize money of $100,000 to compose and disseminate the Charter for Compassion, which was written by leading thinkers and activists representing seven of the major world religions. It summoned men and women to make the compassionate ideal central to public and private life.