What is it?
Crafted by people all over the world and drafted by a multi-fath, multi-national council of thinkers and leaders, the Charter for Compassion asks that we practice the Golden Rule: to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. It reminds the faithful (and the faithless, like me) that founders and leading sages of all the major traditions believed that the Golden Rule was the essence of ethics and religion, that everything else was “commentary”, and that it should be practised “all day and every day”. They insisted that any interpretation of scripture that led to hatred or disdain was illegitimate.
Why chart a charter?
The original reason was “so that people can look at their tradition, reclaim it, and make religion a source of peace in the world, which it can and should be”. This purpose is evolving as the charter movement evolves.
Who’s behind it?
Karen Armstrong pitched the idea, for which she won the TED Prize. Over 150,000 people from over 180 countries contributed their words. A “Council of Conscience” crafted these words into the Charter. Eighteen people formed the Council: Salman Ahmad, Ali Asani, Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, Sadhvi Chaitanya, Bishop John Bryson Chane, Sister Joan Chittister, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, Mohsen Kadivar, Chandra Muzaffar, Baroness Julia Neuberger, Tariq Ramadan, Rabbi David Saperstein, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, Rev. Peter Storey, Ha Vinh Tho, Weiming Tu, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jean Zaru. More credits here.
Does the Council of Conscience have a secret handshake?
So where’s this Charter?
What do I do in the meantime?
- Learn about it
- Attend or host an event
- Attend, ask for, or host a service
- Share the love
- Hang out on the Facebook, the Twitter (follow @TheCharter), the YouTube, and the Flickr
Variations on a Theme
from the Wikipedia
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. – Luke
Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not. – Baha’u'llah
Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing. – Thales
Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. – Baha’u'llah
Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others. – Isocrates
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. – Leviticus
Do not to your neighbor what you would take ill from him. – Pittacus
Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. – Muhammad
It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly (agreeing ‘neither to harm nor be harmed’), and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life. – Epicurus
Just as pain is not agreeable to you, it is so with others. Knowing this principle of equality treat other with respect and compassion. – Suman Suttam
Love thy neighbour as thyself. – Luke
Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself. – Confucius
One should never do that to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. This, in brief, is the rule of dharma. Other behavior is due to selfish desires. – Brihaspati
One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him. – Socrates
Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill. – Dhammapada
Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss. – T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien
That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn. – Hillel
That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind. – Muhammad
The truly enlightened ones are those who neither incite fear in others nor fear anyone themselves. – Guru Granth Sahib
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. – Matthew
What thou avoidest suffering thyself seek not to impose on others. – Epictetus
What you wish your neighbors to be to you, such be also to them. – Sextus the Pythagorean