At the heart of nearly every religion is the Golden Rule. A principle so basic that we hardly have to teach it to our children. Yet, somehow it seems to be forgotten amongst the world’s leaders when it comes time to actually doing something. As a congregation, we signed the Charter for Compassion earlier this year and committed ourselves to acting with compassion. In one sense this was a no-brainer, it was after all, a key factor in our decision making anyway. But, bringing the Golden Rule to the forefront of our thoughts creates the opportunity for us to think and behave more deliberately.
The purpose of the Charter for Compassion is “to empower real, concrete compassionate action among individuals, organizations, and communities across the globe to reduce suffering at all levels. Imagine the impact of vast numbers of people linking arms and bringing compassion to life. Reaching beyond their own lives to bring compassion to their interactions with families, business, education, healthcare, religious and spiritual practices, the arts, scientific research, social services, restorative justice, peace and non-violence groups, and an awareness of the environment. Connecting, providing tools, and empowering all of these dedicated people will bring about a compassionate global community. That is the vision and commitment of the Charter for Compassion International.”
The purpose of the Charter for Compassion is not to give us the chance to finger-wag at others, pointing out their lack of compassion, rather, it is simply to increase our compassionate behavior. We do not claim to always be this way, only that we will try and always be this way. In the meantime, we will also encourage leaders in government, education, business and religion to be true to the rule that can be recited by every child in the playground – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.