In 2008 Karen Armstrong, creator of the Charter for Compassion said, “We are living in a dangerously polarized world,” Armstrong said. “There’s great hatred around. There’s great ignorance of other cultures. Unless we are willing to treat others the way we would like to be treated, even our greatest enemies, we are in trouble.”
Armstrong said that individuals, businesses and cities need to get their own houses in working order. Everyone should look within their own lives to see how they can make their environments more compassionate places — making “sure we treat all creatures as we wish to be treated ourselves.”
Much of her message harkens back to the Golden Rule and the need for people to become more actively engaged. “It’s the only way to turn our world around and bring it back from the brink of destruction,” she said. “We can turn this thing around, even at this late stage.”
“A compassionate city should be an uncomfortable city,” Armstrong said. “If there is homelessness, we should see the pain going on in the world. We should feel that sense of disquiet and dissatisfaction, sometimes a sense of outrage, that this should not be happening. Keep that (feeling) alive. Sometimes we want to block it off. But hold that image. That guards against complacency.”
This is our charge. Keep that feeling alive and do not become complacent. Compassionate Atlanta works with our partners to create conversations to dismantle oppression and create inclusive and equitable communities for all. Join us to support Black Lives and dismantle systems of brutality and hate. Let’s build a system where equity and compassion are at the forefront.
Leanne R. & Iyabo O.