The Charter for Compassion

Early this morning, I read a post by the lovely Karen Walrond that informed me of the Charter for Compassion launching today. This charter is part of the “One Wish to Change the World” articulated by a woman named Karen Armstrong when she was selected in 2008 as a TED Prize winner. (You can watch Ms. Armstrong’s full 20-minute presentation at the TED conference by clicking here.)

Below, you can watch the 2-minute video that articulates the charter. You can also click here to affirm the charter yourself and read stories of compassion others are now beginning to share.

I first learned of Karen Armstrong’s work in late 2007, when I stumbled upon her book The Spiral Staircase. It is a book that moved me deeply, mostly because of the deep honesty and humanity Ms. Armstrong evidenced in her ongoing interior reflections. Here’s one small snippet of the review I wrote when I finished reading it: 

Because Armstrong met with so much personal injustice in her own life, saw the effects of hard-heartedness and an unwillingness to listen and receive vulnerable pilgrims in their quests for love and understanding through the unfolding of her own story, the momentum of this theme builds through the book until it makes perfect sense that she ultimately embraces something which she calls the science of compassion: a so-high regard for the dignity of other human beings that it asks for our sincere attempt to get inside their skin, to see the world from their eyes so that we can truly understand and receive them where they are.

Over this past year, compassion and peace have become more central to my story than ever before. I hope to share more stories about this development soon. But for now, I’ll simply affirm with Karen Armstrong and the thousands of others who are joining in to say, “Yes. This is right and good. This is what the human experience is meant to be. This is how we are meant to love one another.”