November 11, 2009

Charter for Compassion


Tomorrow marks a historic day in the world.
Author and freelance monotheist, Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion debuts.

Back in March this year, I wrote a short blog post titled Children of Abraham. The tragic events of the past week at Fort Hood reminded me of the post as we try to make more sense of a senseless act.

The premise of the Charter for Compassion is the Golden Rule, a central theme of all the Abrahamic religions; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The Golden Rule requires that we use empathy -- moral imagination -- to put ourselves in others' shoes. We should act toward them as we would want them to act toward us. We should refuse, under any circumstance, to carry out actions which would cause them harm.

As we pray and remember our veterans who have perished on both foreign soil and their own, I hope we realize we still are bound to a duty to act with compassion. Compassion is not pity or self serving duty. Compassion is referred to by all world religions, in some form of the famous Golden Rule.

(the following is from Jeffrey Moses book, Oneness):

Christianity: Do unto other as as you would have them do unto you, for this is the law and the prophets.

Judaism: What is hurtful to yourself do not to your fellow man.

Islam: Do unto all men as you would they should unto you, and reject for others what you would reject for yourself.

Buddhism: Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.

Sikhism: Treat others as thou wouldst be treated thyself.

Taoism: Regard your neighbor's gain as you own gain; and regard your neighbor's loss as your own loss, even as though you were in their place.

Confucianism: What you do not yourself desire, do not put before others.

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