I appreciate so many people still being enrolled in this meetup, despite my lack of planning events recently! I have some more time now, after a recent job change.
I'd love to meet up with anyone interested to help me make this group have a monthly volunteering service event.
The time commitment I anticipate is between 2 to 4 hours per month, one day a month, and almost always on a Saturday or Sunday.
Group Mission: Group-Based Volunteering Events and Reflective Discussion
Our mission is volunteering as a team and participating in discussions that bridge religious and philosophical differences for the common good of our communities and ourselves. By doing so, we make a statement that we stand not for division, but for unity, understanding, and compassion.
Discussion Starter: Charter for Compassion
Please read the four paragraphs below.
The Charter for Compassion *
The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.
It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.
We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.
We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.
QUESTION to the Group:
What are your thoughts on this principle of compassion?
- How is it present in your own tradition or personal views?
- How have you experienced it in your own life?
- If you practice it, how do you do it?
- Do you feel it would improve lives and communities if all groups, religious, non-religious, and everything in between applied it consistently?
The Charter for Compassion comes from Karen Armstrong's movement. It is spreading rapidly! See http://charterforcompassion.org/share/the-charter/ for more info.
I recently read her book 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life, which was very interesting.
Watch her 20 minute TED talk: http://charterforcompassion.org/learn/history
Looking forward to seeing you!