Madeline lead our discussion about Compassion with a video by Krista Tippett.  Tippett began the video by saying she wants the world to reconnect with the word "compassion."  Words matter in how we interpret the world.  Too many people consider "compassion" to be too full of happy endings or stories that are too good to be true.  These assumptions deaden the concept.  But Tippett argues that "compassion" should be our new guiding virtue.  Our current guiding virtue for most people is "tolerance" which, Tippett argues, is not a virtue at all.

Compassion:

is kindness:  Kindness is a by product of every virtue.
is curiosity:  It encourages getting to know one another.
is empathy and forgiveness: Understanding is the first step toward forgiving.is generosity:  It requires an understanding that is transitive... you pass something of yourself back to the other person.
is hospitality:  Welcoming the "other" is of fundamental importance in many cultures.
is just showing up: Compassion from a distance is a poor substitute for a caring spirit.

Compassion is the willingness to see beauty and beauty is the essence of a core moral value.  It is hard to show tolerance, but it is easy to picture compassion.  Compassion has an element of physicality so that you can even see it in a photo.

Compassion is not a solution, but it is a sign that we believe we can discover a solution.

There is a story told in the Jewish heritage that at creation, light was shattered into many pieces.  Those who gather the pieces of shattered light and pool them together are taking steps to repair the world.

Einstein was a compassionate man.  He pondered the consequences of the developments of science on human society.  But Einstein was flawed, as was Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, and Gandhi.  Compassion isn't reserved for saints.  It is at home in the real world.
Charter for Compassion

Peace,

Rick