"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

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Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Golden Rule - Compassion for all

I heard of Karen Armstrong a year or so ago when some one introduced me to her TED lecture Let’s Revive the Golden Rule – given in July 2009. All religions teach the Golden Rule in some form: Do to others how you would wish them do to you, or in the negative version – do not treat others as you would not want to be treated yourself. Both call for compassionate behaviour in everything we do. Let’s take this golden rule and all of us apply it – everywhere, all the time, to everybody. If we don’t do this, and urgently, what sort of a world are we going to have to leave to our children and grandchildren? This is Karen’s message.

What is there to not agree with in this? And yet one third of the comments at You Tube for this video do not agree, or do not like what is said. This ironically is the problem!! We clearly have a long way to go.

Karen is committed to spreading compassionate thinking throughout the world – by educating and stimulating – and that starts with the media, she believes. They can help spread this message.

With TED’s help she has created and launched a Charter for Compassion and now works to propagate this idea. Do sign up to it.

Now the book is out – Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and has raced up the Amazon charts. Sarah Vine reviewed it in The Times last Saturday 1st January. In summary, and thank you to Sarah Vine for this – the twelve chapters with the twelve steps, put succinctly, are: Learn about compassion, Look at your own world, Compassion for yourself, Empathy, Mindfulness, Action, How little we know, How should we speak to one another, Concern for everybody, Knowledge, Recognition and finally Love your Enemies.

I have only read a chapter or two so far but hope to post a review on Amazon within a short while, if other books don’t overtake me. (I have a mountain of excellent books all vying for my attention at the moment!). Her message is crystal clear – and why should we do this? Because it will make us happier; it really is that simple. Of course working through the book and following all the advice will require commitment and it is not all going to be plain sailing. But as Sarah Vine concludes, “compassion is the highest of human sentiments; without it we are little more than beasts.”

2 comments:

Edwin Rutsch said...

Dear Eleanor

Here's a further resources to learn more about empathy and compassion.

The Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
The Culture of Empathy website is the largest internet portal for resources and information about the values of empathy and compassion. It contains articles, conferences, definitions, experts, history, interviews, videos, science and much more about empathy and compassion.
http://CultureOfEmpathy.com


and the facebook cause
Let's Find 1 Million People Who Want to Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion
Community Organizing, Research, Education and Advocacy to Build a Culture of Empathy and Compassion
http://causes.com/empathy

warmly

Edwin Rutsch

Eleanor said...

Edwin thank you very much indeed - I will follow those up.
cheers Eleanor

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