Create a Charter for Compassion

Create a Charter for Compassion

At TED2008 Ideas Conference in March of this year, TED Prize winner Karen Armstrong was granted a wish to change the world. This is what she asked for:

“I wish that you would help with the creation, launch and propagation of a Charter for Compassion, crafted by a group of leading inspirational thinkers from the three Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and based on the fundamental principles of universal justice and respect.”

Since then support for idea has built among numerous religious groups, spiritual leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, and Britain’s first female Rabbi Julia Neuberger have joined a special Council to oversee the Charter, and Kluster, a collaborative decision making platform, has built a groundbreaking site that will allow anyone to contribute to the Charter.

“By recognizing that the Golden Rule is fundamental to all world religions, the Charter for Compassion can inspire people to think differently about religion. This Charter is being created in a collaborative project by people from all over the world. It will be completed in 2009. Use this site to offer language you’d like to see included. Or inspire others by sharing your own story of compassion.”

“Later this week millions of Muslims, Christians, and Jews will be sent an email inviting them to come to the site and offer their choice of words, in their own language, to help create a charter capable of inspiring the world to focus on what the great religions share, as opposed to what divides them. Already people are responding to this amazing idea with passion and excitement. The goal is to obtain all input from global participants within the next four weeks, select the best contributions with the help of a council of religious “sages”, and conduct a major launch of the finished document in 2009.”

You can contribute to the Preamble, on why this is necessary, today. The next section opens Nov 20.

I trust people from Eastern faiths will also contribute. There’s no reason it needs to be limited to Abrahamic faiths.

Last Updated on December 11, 2013 by Davidya

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


  1. I have long hungered for the intentional inclusion of the feminine in the assumption of pronoun use; a conscious sensitivity that in human form we live with limitation and that an active use of inclusive language dynamic can go a very long way to reach the health and well being of the human psyche in general for both and all gender identities. For example, it is amazing to recognize what pressure can be relinquished by inclusive language recognition in our teaching and talking about the divine in a she/he recognition and inclusion! Also asserting the use of “she” first is a wonderful offering to the deep conditioning of the brain and hence opening in the heart.

  2. Davidya

    I would suggest taking it further. Awhile ago, I got into the habit of using they and their rather than she/he and hers/his. Unless it’s relevant, using personal pronouns adds an unnecessary condition or ‘pressure’ as you mention. Speaking from the we is much more inclusive.

    As the divine is beyond duality, such qualities as she or he are aspects of the whole rather than defining features. While we may relate to Godhead this way, that is our unique association, not the nature of the divine itself.

    Placing the feminine ahead of the male may seem to be a movement to balance, but it is really just another pendulum swing. It will not move to equality. For true equality, sex has to be taken off the table. We are all equal under God.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post.

  3. “You” statements always make me cringe… I will not argue or defend against “you” statements.

    The perspective you offer while sanctioned as leading edge, I will choose to stand my ground. As a man, “you” can afford the perspective “you” state. Privilege in the world has always been a masculine domain.

    What I suggest in regard to pronoun use, is connected to the path of working to develop healthy personal human boundaries on the way to enlightenment consciousness. “She” on the way to “they,” (or more appropriately “us” etc.), until most people are on board in the personal transformation department.

    My suggestion is as valid as yours without identification/association of any sort, in this world of human illusions. For all the reasons you have stated for using a different set of pronouns, my suggestion can be heard and recognized as pointing in the same direction…

  4. Davidya

    My apologies. I used your “handle” as an example, not intending to make it personal. That was unfair. I have removed that reference.

    I agree with what you are suggesting. If you browse the blog, you’ll find I speak a lot about process, like the “she” to “us”, although I avoid gender pronouns so would tend to use “me”. I was just trying to say that more commonality will be found in a place of ‘us’ than a place of duality where gender is still highlighted.

    I suppose I also illustrated your point another way. Men can sometimes be like a bull in a china shop on sensitivity. It’s not that sensitivity isn’t there. It’s more that we express it in different ways.

    Conditioning? Sure. Hormones, skills usage, and experience too. But that’s another subject.

    Thanks for your patience and obvious consideration.

  5. Davidya

    Just a further clarification on this discussion to the broader audience. I don’t “avoid” personal pronouns like ‘she’ and ‘he’ over some sense of political correctness or popular thinking. In fact, I’ve not seen this trend very broadly.

    I simply made a conscious choice to speak about human evolution and people rather than emphasizing gender where it wasn’t relevant. For a writer, I was trying to be less exclusionary.

    As I’ve written about before, English is a language that has a strong ego sense embedded in it. It’s not always easy to find language which is not personalized that way. But at least there is a choice. The French and other ‘Romance’ languages have given a gender to just about everything. Without gender, everything is plural.

  6. Thank-you very much for the time clearly taken by you to write back a considerable response.

    I promise to return and read the blog posts in depth.

    In my intention to respond to joining the writing of a charter for compassion_ references to the feminine still stand as important. I can recognize where you are coming from in a preference to neutralize pronoun usage as inclusive; a logical progression, and for me, hearing “she” means healing still.

    Conditioning, humanness, etc., are very important conscious considerations in the development of this process.

    I commend such a noble commitment, for the evolution of humanity needs such a charter.

  7. Davidya

    I understand. We have to find peace and completion with who we are as individuals before we can find that in the whole. That journey into healing can take many forms, often reflecting where we feel wounded.

    There is a pattern of stepping out of the parents/tribe/group into personal completion, and then back into the group again from a higher place. We see that cycle though various ages in human development and the stages of awakening.

    The site now indicates contributions have been received and sorted. They’re now working on the final version.

  8. Davidya

    The video clip presently on the site has a fellow saying that every religion has come to periods of intolerance but also has the tools to restore tolerance.

    I consider such a project very valuable as it offers a framework for commonality. But unless individuals heal their pain, it will not be followed. People act from their hearts. If they feel pain, they will lash out. If they feel compassion, they will seek such as the above.

    The secret of compassion is in healing the heart.

  9. Pingback: Charter for Compassion released « In 2 Deep

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest