One of my 4 core values is compassion. I believe it is the one value that truly differentiates us from being self-loving, egoistical people. Our caring and grace for others is the one key to make sure our collective future becomes a livable one.
Last year, Karen Armstrong, a reknown religious scholar, made a plea at TED for a Charter for Compassion: an initiative to 'to restore the Golden Rule as the central global religious doctrine.'
One year later, with the help of TED and 150 000 contributors like you and me from 180 different countries and 4 different languages, Karen's dream is finally becoming a reality.
How different would our businesses be if we applied this charter in our commercial transactions ? in our interpersonal relationships ? with people very different from us ? Here are inspiring examples and a way for us to act on it.
Enjoy the Charter for Compassion.
The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.
We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.
We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.
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