The above 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 initiative that seeks to become a Compassionate Community. Each of the four broad phases includes more specific steps along with stories and examples that you may find helpful and even inspiring. Depending on the initiative, its issues, and available resources, this process may take from one or more years from “discover” to “launch.”
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
The Charter for Compassion (CFC) has developed a four phase model or framework for building a Compassionate Community. In many ways, the model is like 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 CFC, too, is interested in the well-being of communities and applauds all 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.