“Compassion is the principled determination to put ourselves in the shoes of the other, and lies at the heart of all religious and ethical systems.” [Charter for Compassion website]
As a bonus of attending TEDActive in 2011, I was enrolled in the TED Book Club. One of the first books I received (from memory) was Karen Armstrong’s “Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life“. I’ve started reading it before, started and stopped at the history of the formulation of the Golden Rule*, page 9 of the Preface. It depresses me to think I hadn’t even made it to Step 1 – Learn About Compassion.
Armstrong was the recipient of the TED Prize in 2008, and this books explains the creation of The Charter for Compassion and how to turn it into personal action. Developing the Charter included seeking contributions from people across the world, from perspectives both religious and secular, in order to develop a charter to restore compassionate thinking and action.
I have started reading it again, and it’s helping to articulate my questions: is compassion innate or constructed, how do different religions inform and shape views of compassion and how might I use her writing as a blueprint for my own actions.
[Day 4: Researching the foundations]
*Golden Rule: Treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Or as listed within the scriptures of many religions.