Charter for Compassion's partner, Global Compassion Coalition issued a statement on the on-going conflict in Gaza and Israel.
Many people are feeling raw as a result of what they are seeing and hearing about the tragedies and horrors in the Middle East, as well as the many ongoing conflicts and wars across the world. It is difficult to conceive of the scale of the suffering being experienced. Our hearts must go out to those who are caught in the middle of these conflicts, if we have the courage to lean towards and understand what they are experiencing. But for all of us, witnessing the suffering brings its own pain and fears.
The Global Compassion Coalition exists to support the expression of compassion – the motivation to care and help – across all human societies around the world. We want to offer hope where hope seems lost.
The first step is to acknowledge the awful, terrible events that are taking place rather than turning away or ignoring them. That process of acknowledgement must include facing up to an ugly past that has pitted Palestinians and Israelis against each other in the interests of neither. The wounds of “divide and rule” that survive as a legacy of colonial conquest, must still be healed.
The second is to recognise – to truly see the suffering and fear of those in the communities of the Middle East and elsewhere and to know that, behind the headlines and the shocking statistics, there are humans who are suffering. We are all affected by these events and can experience a bitter and heartrending frustration that these long-standing problems have not been solved or ameliorated over the last 70 years.
We need a different approach both in the Middle East and across our world. We are capable of transcending the intergroup prejudices, cruelty, and hostility that have marked so much of human history. There exist so many examples of cross-boundary compassion around the world for us to know that conflict is but one of our many potentials. To face-down the many threats facing humanity we must understand and cultivate those potentials.
This will require change. It requires leaders who can extend circles of compassion and work for the common good. It requires an understanding of human suffering and the systems which perpetuate it. It requires all of us to have the courage to be and to offer compassion in our interactions and activities. This will be powerful to the extent to which we do this collectively, working together with others to give hope and inspire change, through the expression of compassion.
Our global compassion movement aims to help us all lean together towards difficulty, conflict, pain and suffering in order to enable positive change. We can each play a role in fostering compassionate communities, reaching across boundaries, practicing self-compassion, and seeking to understand the experiences of others. This is a process which can lead to great change – to the foregrounding of new values, ideas, perspectives, and emotions at the very core of our societies.
The Board of the Global Compassion Coalition