Karen Armstrong’s Inspired Dream: Charter for Compassion

When Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize in 2008 she used her wish to call upon the TED community to help her create a Charter for Compassion.  Her dream has been realized with the birth of the TED project on November 12, 2009.

It is an interesting endeavor and one I will be watching closely.  Before the launch they released 6 videos from people of different faiths to comment on compassion.

At the very least, this awesome and inspiring project should propel us into much needed discussions in our communities.  Like kindness, I think sometimes compassion gets an eye roll or is seen as some bizarre form of weakness.

Compassion doesn’t mean feeling sorry for people. It doesn’t mean pity. It means putting yourself in the position of the other, learning about the other. Learning what’s motivating the other, learning about their grievances.  ~Karen Armstrong

It’s time we moved beyond the idea of toleration and moved toward appreciation of the other.  ~Karen Armstrong

Spend some time thinking about compassion this week.  Tell people about this project.  Talk to your friends and family about it.  Put yourself in another’s position, think about what is motivating them, listen to their grievances.  This notion was brought home to me over ten years ago when I stumbled upon a Buddhist story about an empty boat.  In the next post, I will tell you the empty boat story and how it changed my life.

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