Why become a Member of the Charter?

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JOIN THE MOVEMENT

We issued an invitation: Go beyond simply signing the Charter for Compassion as a document. Join the movement as a Member, and commit to being a supporter and participant. We asked new members to tell us why they joined. We are continuing to add to this page as we hear from others who send us messages.

Arnold Veenhoff
Raised a christian and baptized in a baptist church in the Netherlands when I was seventeen, I was brought up with the rules of compassion. Even though after some years I left the church, I never left those rules although I did not do anything to spread the word about them. Some years ago I read Karen Armstrong's book Compassion and the concept of compassion became more alive to me than ever before. Very recently I was in a meeting of the Dutch Charter of Compassion in Leiden, the Netherlands. Nowadays we seem to be in a period of much suffering and polarization and I think we should try to find ways to revive the principles of human compassion by constantly searching the dialogue with relevant partners in society and in our small personal life. I decided to actively contribute to this by signing and joining the Charter of Compassion in the Netherlands.

Gretta Vosper
The reason I and the congregation are so passionate about this work, doing it in the face of great loss, anger, and constant derision by some of my colleagues and many of the congregant's family members and friends, is that we believe in the values of the Charter of Compassion and we believe they are compromised in many communities. The continuing disappearance of mainline, liberal voices within communities has left much of the social fabric torn or disintegrated. In the absence of this voice, families retreat to the principles of tribal privilege, caring for their own rather than for those with whom they share their neighbourhoods, well-being is compromised, and civic engagement is threatened if it is present at all. We believe that calling people beyond religious doctrine into community that lifts up the values of love, justice, and compassion, is an essential evolutionary path for mainline denominations. We are carving it out, living on the bleeding edge, so that those who seek wholeness and who wish to be supported in community have a place to go that doesn't demand they believe ancient theological tenets or converse in ancient theological jargon. We are convinced this work must and can be done.

Renate Frech
I am working in the field of human rights and displacement, most of the time in post-conflict scenarios, often focusing on torture, war crimes and the plight of survivors of sexual and gender based violence. I have worked with cases of the most inhuman violence, crimes against humanity and the consequences of that. In parallel, for many years I have been researching different ways to address the past through prosecution, truth commissions, or other forms of restorative justice. I am not religious but I am a deeply spiritual person. The more I have worked in these fields, the more I have come to the conclusion that all we have to address violence, wars and suffering is compassion and love, inclusion and forgiveness, gratitude and reaching out to the others. I deeply believe that just as each of us can contribute to violence, we can contribute to peace - even if only with a thought, a word, a sentence, a deed. We are overwhelmed by negative news and media. My 'dream' is to promote positive news about human rights initiatives - to start and continue to support the positive and to not remain quiet when we are asked to stand up against injustice and violence. Thus, I am grateful that I can be a very 'tiny' member of this network, I am grateful that I can contribute even if only a small seed, but something to make this world hopefully a better place for all - and even if only for one person, it is for one person. I am grateful that this initiative has been successful thanks to the persistent work of so many who believe in it, and that I can make my contribution to support and keep it going.

Michael Gipters
It would be fair to say I have been a journey of personal development over the last few years. I have more closely examined how I managed those that work for me and with me and I came to the conclusion that our lives and the world in fact can do with a great deal more compassion. I began to research the subject and on that journey found the Charter for Compassion. Very happy that I have and I support the cause. I wish there was a way for the rest of the world to see that and think this way. I have found with my more conscious efforts to be compassionate that all relationships in my life have improved with work, family, friends, and even strangers. More power to you, Charter for Compassion.

Johan Barber
Karen Armstrong was recommended to me as an author by an Benedictine Abbot and that triggered my research. As someone who had ignored choosing one faith for most of her life due to the exclusion it set up fro other faiths, I was moved by the acknowledgement of the "golden rule" as being common to all main faiths. I also work in the Care Industry and believe that if a care worker can display the 'golden rule' to their clients, that is the key to success. Therefore,if I truly believe my view, especially after choosing to be a Christian and a catholic in it truest sense, how could I not join the Charter for Compassion.

Kevin Kreucher
As Thich Nhat Hanh said "“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.” I believe that the practice of Compassion is the most critical tool that will help us achieve Global Oneness and eliminate separateness. I want to learn as much as I can about Compassionate living and infuse it into my daily life. Cultivating Compassion through Mindfulness influences whole planet. It helps us connect with one another. I want to change the world starting by changing myself. Compassion & Mindfulness help us understand and love each other. True love cannot exist without true understanding. I want to learn how to better understand the world and the people around me.

Caspar Lambrechtsen
[I've had a] lifetime of experience of working in foreign countries, both developed and developing, encountering many deeply engrained patterns of behavior and sentiments of entitlement, colonialism and superiority that are still prevailing today and stand in the way of the world becoming a compassionate place. Myreason for joining stems from reading both Jung's collected works and Karen Armstrong's extensive writings on religion, leading to a better understanding of the workings of the human mind, apart from the 4F's, and how enormous the challenge is to foster a compassionate mindset particularly in the leading developed communities as it is the same as with corruption, if the people in power are not "clean" then the lower hierarchies have to be also as they are forced to feed the people in their power position. A further reason for joining is to become part of a network of like minded people even though I am now working part time in Central Asia in a rather remote part of the world where the compassionate mindset existing is slowly being eroded under the influences of Western commercialism. It is a very complicated subject with many facets whereby some countries (Europe) are much further advanced along the path of becoming compassionate than their counterparts in the US.

Jacoba Van Os
I read Karen Armstrong's book "Twelve Steps...." read different articles, and saw her visit in Utrecht, Domkerk in the Netherlands.All this was so inspiring and stimulating in the idea that even small drops of compassion and even small actions can have an positive effect. It gives hope in a world full of misery, war and violence, that there are more people who are concerned with the world, nearby and on a wider scale. And that we all have possibilities to spread around love, compassion, friendship and therefore create something that can help people.

Nick Baylis
As a practicing Mahayana Buddhist I understand that compassion is the most beneficial mind for ourselves and others. As my teacher Geshe Kelsang Gyatso says in his brilliant book Eight Steps to Happiness 'Of all virtuous minds, compassion is supreme'. Each of us can and must learn to develop our compassion for all living beings if our life is going to be worth living.

Rea Nolan
When my children were young, I taught them to obey civil law, understanding that civil law reflects the absolute minimum social standards any community can agree upon. I told them there is a much higher standard of law to which we must all conform. Sadly, the religions that used to reflect that higher law have in many cases become factious, even diseased. Young adults are drawn to them less and less. Higher law can mostly be found in ancient corners of dark religious attics after bypassing the guards of ego and abuse. Although religions may be restored at some point in the future (Francis is helping), what do we teach our children in the mean time? Who will represent the standards we wish to pass along? The Charter for Compassion is one organization that can illuminate a true and righteous path for the next generation. It is not competitive. It is unconcerned with possessing a God or even naming a God. It honors everyone's God through the universal law of Love and Compassion. The Charter can go where religion has failed, teaching and practicing true agape and compassion for all. This is why I belong.

Lesa Walker
I believe that the personal practice of "3D" compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth) is the best way to move our world toward global peace, health, and environmental sustainability. If each of us learns how to live with compassion and we practice and strengthen our compassion so that it becomes a habit, together, we will generate a mass effect for positive global change. Coming from this perspective, I am immediately drawn to the Charter for Compassion Intl (CfCI). I am amazed by the knowledge and vision of Karen Armstrong and the dedicated CfCI staff. My first contact was with Marilyn Turkovich and she impressed me with her genuine interest, support, and inclusiveness. CfCI is a "yes" organization- looking for the "possibilities" and working to engage and encourage innovation, creativity, and collaboration. CfCI provides a dynamic, evolving infrastructure of partners throughout the world for teaching, learning, practicing, and strengthening "3D" compassion. CfCI also offers volunteer opportunities. All these aspects of CfCI made we want to support the organization and its work. I volunteer with CfCI and I have seen CfCI in action. I feel privileged to have this opportunity to collaborate with such wonderful, hard-working, and passionate people and partners, all working to make the world a better place.

Joyce Lang
I’ve been working for peace for many years, having started with the Department of Peace campaign, and am currently working mostly in my community of Cheverly, Maryland. We have a peace garden, 6 peace poles, a month of peace every May and a week-long peace camp for children of all ages each summer. The Charter beautifully expresses everything I see as peace which I believe is the umbrella solution to our issues. It is becoming my mantra.

Melanie Santos
I joined the Charter because of the inspiration I've found in reading Karen Armstrong's books. They offer an ideal for humanity that is more accessible, more inclusive, and much more aspirational than the other ideals I have delved in more recently - the Stoics, for instance. I like how it is a living discourse, and engaged with the world. It's my way of thanking her for offering a bridge between my (Catholic) heritage and the more prosaic culture I make my living in.

Debbie Scott
I feel compelled to make a stand for peace in ways that are within my reach, and joining this organization is within my reach. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of a worldwide effort that promotes the love and mercy we were created to share.

Mariann Siman-Sahni
Last year my company went through a merge and our offices moved to the other side of the country. I took this as an opportunity and decided to take a break to focus on family and projects that make our world a better place. I read the Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong and saw her on TED which lead me to the Charter for Compassion. I believe the environment, education, politics, religion and the business world are all areas which needs change for the better urgently and that is why the Charter for Compassion is all encompassing: if more people live by the principles of compassion the positive impact on all those areas are inevitable. So this is why I chose to sign the Charter last year. Through the Charter I got in touch with BeThePeace and currently working on hosting the BeThePeace Zurich event. I would love to do more for the Charter and get more involved.

Anne McGrath
I have followed the development of the Charter since its inception with great enthusiasm and interest. Those of us who are committed to training their minds to think, do, be more positive and other-centred need to know there are others out there working along the same lines. It gives us validity, strength and hope (even when we fail to act as we might wish to do. I liked the conciseness and clarity of Karen's original Charter. Its simple, accessible and sensible. I want to support the growth and development of anything that promotes compassionate action, values and ethics. I specifically want to encourage your developing organisation to flourish in the UK.

Chris Poole
I am participating with a church group reading of Karen Armstrong's 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life. I have been inspired by the whole concept since listening to her TED Talk.

John Bryan
I ‘signed up’ for Charter for Compassion soon after its TED award and commended it to several colleagues at that time. My motive was to support any effort to enhance civility (and reduce hostility). Recently I became aware for the need to help fund the effort, so I ‘joined up’. To sum that up in two or three sentences: Throughout my work life, part of my task has been to advise people, to support and encourage them as they deal with the desires, demands, stresses and strains of their lives and work. One bit of advice I gave to enhance personal and professional effectiveness was: “Be gentle with yourself. Many others will be harsh with you - without being asked and for free.” I think The Charters helps that along.

Maggie Cropton
I took the decision to become a member because I felt that it was important to seek to make my commitment to learn more of and exercise compassion as genuine as possible. It also enabled me to make a small financial donation to this excellent community and its resources. I have found the articles and resources I have been sent thought provoking, challenging and helpful.

Dennis Philpot
I became a Charter member because I’m a Buddhist and compassion is a most important and central practice and Charter membership is one way (among many) that I can act on that.

Mark Hazell
Why did I become a member of the charter? Because I want to support a non-denominational effort to promote compassion as an essential foundation for society.

Joel Marcus
I wanted to be a member of the Charter so I can do something for others, and help to heal the wounds and make the world a little better for everyone. I feel that everyone can lessen suffering and pain in others by being open, giving and kind.

Susan Vos
I felt drawn to become a member because I support whole-heartedly the higher intentions of the Charter. We human beings are united as one family. One of the great reasons that we are here on Earth is to learn to love one another and remember what we have forgotten. Our acts of compassion change the world. When we serve another compassionately, the other feels loved and honoured as a worthy human being; we create the opportunity for the light within the other to shine.

May our hearts be filled with love and understanding for our fellow man.
May we seek not to criticise but to have compassion.
May we see the inner glory within each person -
the light within

Joseph Izzo
As a practicing Quaker (Religious Society of Friends) for the last 32 years and formerly a member of a Roman Catholic Teaching Brotherhood from 1965 to 1982, I have long been involved in social justice and peace movements/issues. I have also been deeply involved in interfaith actions. I joined the Charter for Compassion because I’m facilitating a discussion group at my Quaker Meeting House on the third Sunday of each month and we’re devoting the next year to reading Karen Armstrong’s 12 Steps to a Compassionate Life. Sadly, the communication’s media focusses attention on the conflicts, wars, terrorism, natural disasters and miserable suffering of many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world and little on the countless acts of compassion, loving kindness and cooperation that far outnumbers the divisiveness and rancor between people. I want to be part of the groundswell of compassion that all great religious leaders throughout history have preached and lived out.

Michael Parry
The reason I joined Charter for Compassion is because I am passionate about helping in whatever small way I can, to encourage and facilitate the world to be more peaceful and loving, within our families, communities, countries, different cultures around the world and our diverse religious and spiritual beliefs. I have a strong spiritual belief that my mission in life is to touch as many lives as I possibly can, between now and the end of this incarnation in an unconditional positive and loving regard, I will do whatever is in my power to do this, because I see so much hurt, anxiety, depression, out of control stress, which apart, in most cases, mental illness, is caused by lack of self-love, which in turn causes dysfunctional relationships, which then obviously spread to our wider communities.

Jeff Coulter
My personal and professional growth has taken me in a whole new direction this year.  I started a mindfulness practice and I have introduced to it my workplace.  My personal goal is to make the workplace a more compassionate place for people.  The Charter for Compassion, provides me ongoing information and resources so that I can learn new ways to be more compassionate and share that with others.

Margaret Hardy
Why did I sign the Charter?  I read Karen Armstrong's "Twelve Steps" book, and the Charter was mentioned at church, so that's how I knew about it. Deciding to sign the Charter was a gathering up of many threads in my life:  yoga, meditation, disappointment with the negativity of almost all public discourse, sorrow for all the conflict in the world and learning through various experiences that I have choices and they matter.   I was struck especially by Ms. Armstrong's statement that the Golden Rule is not a doctrine that you agree with or believe in, but a learning process and a practice.   To sign the Charter is to commit to that learning and that practice.

Janet Toews
Charter for Compassion caught my attention for two reasons: One: the word compassion. Two: Karen Armstrong's involvement. I wanted to find out exactly how effective the Charter is on a practical everyday basis. I have been wondering in the last few days how compassion will work on the situation in Libya, Iraq, Ukraine. I have been feeling very useless about this upheaval, then got to thinking, "I can send compassion to these individuals through meditation." That is what I will do.

Sally Tornow
The reason I joined Charter couldn't be simpler:  it is an organization that embodies my deepest feelings toward people, toward the environment, towards animals, toward the world.  I am grateful that Karen Armstrong took the steps to start it and I hope that it continues to spread its message far and wide.

Belinda Espiritu
I joined the Charter for Compassion Movement because compassion is what we need in a world threatened by terrorism, war, conflict, and violence. We all need to cultivate compassion which is connected with the word "love". As a Christian, I believe in loving everyone, even my enemies. We Filipinos were recipients of compassion from the international community when typhoon Haiyan struck and it is what we need to cultivate in our hearts and spread around us.

Anthony Toole
By birth, upbringing and ultimately choice, I am a practising Christian, and by education and profession, a scientist. Among my close friends and acquaintances are people of all religions and none. I have always been impressed by the things that unite us, while our differences seem utterly insignificant. I look forward to a time when emphasis on our perceived differences disappears altogether, without any of us giving up the riches of our separate cultures and beliefs, and we can concentrate on the one factor present in all our religions, our common humanity. I believe that the most important issue facing us this century is that of Human Rights, with particular emphasis on the rights of women and children. If we can agree on this, then we can sort out our other major problems, such as those of the environment, poverty and human conflict. I feel that the Charter for Compassion embodies these beliefs better than any other organisation.

Janis Dambitis
I was very happy to see such a global organization created. Good heart and compassionate actions are so important in this world of business, budgets and decisions made on calculation of interests. I try to implement it as much as possible and teach it to our sons and other children. I hope that one day we will do something globally uniting, like we did in the Baltic region in 1989 :) Maybe the time has come. Yesterday was a day when we lighted fires along the coast of the Baltic sea and made our collective wish for peace in the world.

Beth Peterson
I joined the Charter for Compassion because it provides a venue for me to participate in embracing and spreading compassion. Sometimes, it seems that there is little that one person can do to promote peace and compassion; however, with membership in the charter, I receive ideas and encouragement from other members as they describe what they are doing worldwide. In addition, when I read the newsletters, I feel a strong kinship with people throughout the world and feel joy to know that so many of us are working toward the same goal of compassion. 

Tom Grogan
My interest in the Charter of Compassion began with the initial formation ... and the Internet-based drafting process. It was interesting to see how such a BIG idea could capture the attention, energy and commitment of an engaged world. Coincidental with that project, I became very actively involved in the formation (and support) of an ad hoc grassroots project - the Oshkosh Civility Project. The core message there relates to improving interpersonal communication skills (and attendant awareness) to build strong individuals, strong households, strong places of work, strong organizations, and strong communities with viable and sustainable patterns of civic engagement. The Quest for Civility - as we have framed it - relates to individual improvement. The Charter for Compassion really speaks to TWO dual commitments: to do good and to speak up to prevent harm. It is the duty to act part that appeals to me, as the basis for involvement/engagement is fundamentally stronger, broader and more inclusive than the manner we have advanced the cause of civility. We are all joined in common purpose. May this united effort make our world stronger. And if not that, at least measurably more tolerable.

JoAnne Simson
I joined the Charter for Compassion because our church joined and urged members to join individually. Personally, I think compassion is key to breaking down barriers between people of different backgrounds and cultures. I believe it was actually compassion that Paul was talking about in Corinthians. If most of the world's population does not learn compassion, for other humans AND for other forms of life on Earth, then our planet will become a nightmarish place to inhabit. It is already in many places.

Christine Dull, co-founder of the Dayton International Peace Museum
In short, I would like to quote the Dalai Lama, who said it well in The Art of Happiness, "Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive."  I completely believe that! 

Sheet music for Anthem for Compassion

Audio file of brass performance

A Capella Fellas singing at St. John's-Grace Episcopal Church (Buffalo, New York, USA)

John Schimminger
Thank you so much for initiating and carrying on the inspirational Charter for Compassion movement. Recently I was looking over all the great information and materials on the Charter for Compassion web site and realized that you don't have any music! Every great movement of social reform has had its anthem or anthems, e.g., La Marseillaise, the Internationale, Lift Every Voice, We Shall Overcome. So I've written an Anthem for Compassion in celebration of and support of the Charter for Compassion movement.

Richard Van Dellen
I believe violence in all its forms is the most serious threat to our very survival but uppermost is the systemic violence of war and militarism. The Charter is a radical document that if adopted widely has a chance of reversing the disastrous situation we find ourselves in. The usual dictionary definition of compassion, and what most people think of as compassion is: “the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to alleviate it.” This Charter broadens the definition to include equality, nonviolence and religious tolerance, or to put it another way: do something to prevent suffering. Will the Charter for Compassion do any better than previous documents such as the Earth Charter, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the Russell-Einstein Manifesto of 1955, and others? Its international scope and staying power just may help keeping it active.

Eileen Epperson
I am completely inspired by the incredibly rapid development of the Charter for Compassion over the past five years. It is an idea whose time has come. It is a privilege to contribute and be counted as a Member of the Charter.

Caroline Miller
I will certainly continue to spread the word amongst others of the amazing effort and results that have been achieved by the Charter for Compassion, and encourage them to join. I can only think of the most simple response to the question you pose as to why I joined the movement, which is that I think compassion is one vital quality that needs to be matured and nurtured in us all. We must all learn to develop our own compassion if we are to have any part or contribution toward our world peace and stability. What is more, without it there will be little hope for the health and well-being of our humanity as a whole.

Keith Hagan
Only compassion can unite!!! Compassion for self leads to compassion for others and this allows kindness to spring forth. Only with compassion and kindness will we ever discover world peace.

Louis Rothschild
I attended a meditation and psychotherapy workshop focused on self-compassion a few years back. This was led by Christopher Germer. Chris mentioned Karen Armstrong’s book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. Finding the book led me to the Charter, and joining felt - feels - important to me.

Sam Kaplan
I have been a long-time fan of Karen Armstrong's writing on comparative religion, and, while it is quite different from my own, I appreciate the journey she has made intellectually. Almost every world problem that I look at seems to depend upon an absence of compassion.  Finally, I would like to believe that compassion can be taught, but I am an agnostic on that.   I suspect that people who were cooperative, altruist, and compassionate as well as those who were narcissistic and blind to the needs of others, both found a winning evolutionary strategy and that those are the main strains in human society.  I really do not know if that gap can be overcome, but I would like to believe that it can.

Jill Owen
We live on a planet that is currently in a terminal condition.  The cure for this condition is neither science or politics. As the Buddhists have known for a long time, it is not compassion If we do not start treating "the other" as a part of us, but continue to treat is as something to be feared and overcome, we will die.   Life is a web.  We must learn to love and nurture it or suffer the consequences and go the way of the dinosaur.

Bernard Littlejohn
I am an 86 year old British born Canadian who grew up in London during WW2, and although our society improved regarding equal justice for a while I believe we have degenerated to become the most unjust society in all history. I believe it is in part due to the fact that ordinary people have decided to rebel peacefully. This has exaggerated the power of money for the minority of the powerful, and reduced their fear or of any kind of rebellion. At the same time our economy is reducing less and less jobs. The Industrial Revolution in fact continues to reduce the power of the masses, and robotics could make it worse in the future. . As a retired engineer and industrial manager from the pulp and Paper Industry I believe we have to design a totally new paradigm for both our economy and our society as a whole. Which means we must design it, and put it into law. Not an easy task. I think free enterprise and our political system has failed to produce the regulation that we hoped for. So far greed and power dominate.

David Dodson, Convenor, Compassionate Santa Cruz
This is my third year, and to date, most successful effort in urging my fellow citizens of Santa Cruz, California to insist the City Council adopt a resolution making Santa Cruz a "City of Compassion."  In that effort a group of citizens met with me and the Santa Cruz Mayor Elect and drafted this statement of purpose: "We strive to awaken compassion within individuals, families and the larger community.  By creating awareness of our common humanity and fostering connections between citizens and organizations committed to compassionate action, we seek to make Santa Cruz a more successful, cohesive and compassionate place."

Beth Hurwitz
I became a member because I can at last begin to think about something else besides myself, namely the quality of life for some of my global neighbors. The most effective way for me to “hit up” my friends is a cool app that I can post to FB, with a link to your site. A one-liner touching the nerve of your purpose is a good thing, too, so that people get a general idea of what you are and what they're missing. Until I was able to repair and replenish myself I felt empty and had very little to offer. Most people feel very much the way I did, and to reach them through offering support, programs and training in self-compassion is key to getting increased membership, made of valuable people with strength and conviction.

Paul Sawyer
Compassion is fundamental to my religion (Christianity), but not unique to my religion. I believe we were all put on this earth to grow and to help others to grow. Anything that works against that is probably wrong. We're all in this together. You may use my name. I posted the link on my Facebook page, with my comment, where it will be seen by far more people. PUSHing my opinions into people's e-mail is less effective than posting and allowing those who will to PULL the information. By supporting you, I enable you to do what I can't do well myself. I do that for several dozen charitable organizations.

Dr. Suzanne Henwood
I see hurt and pain in the world. As an individual it is hard to know what impact I can have, so seeing The Charter for Compassion gave me a wider group to join with which spreads compassion for all.  That sense of alleviating suffering in a respectful and impactful way.  I am looking forward to seeing how I can interact over time to be part of such a worthy cause...

Julia Cybele
To begin, I was most impressed with Karen Armstrong's books. life story, and interview on Charlie Rose. I sense a kindred spirit who is presenting a very important message for all humanity, addressing the core of spirituality itself... our hope, our aspirations for what could be and can be in our little corner of the Cosmos.

Aston Wong
I actually first heard about the Charter in school when my class watched Karen's TED Talk and her wish to change the world. Being a religious person, I gained new perspectives from her talks and realised that my prejudices against Islamist extremists wasn't the right way to look at things. Karen's right- we shouldn't fight fire with fire- compassion is a universal representation of goodwill. I decided that it was a cause worth supporting. And of course, you have my permission to use my name. Next, while I believe in the message that the Charter bears, I think that it just isn't receiving enough attention to achieve the impact that it should. It's been over four years since the Charter's debut, and just over 100,000 members is a really surprising figure. I expected at least a million, to be honest. Spreading the message seems to be the critical thing. I live in Singapore, a highly globalized city, so it isn't difficult for ideas to get around. This is unlike America, where the Charter is more well-known and there are Compassionate Cities which have signed the Charter. Nothing like that here! The Charter has no offices here, no support groups or anything. Does the Charter have a global forum? That maybe an excellent way to start spreading the good news!

Beverly Harju
I've joined the Charter for Compassion because I've read several of Karen Armstrong's books and I trust her as endorsing your program. I even belong to a compassion reading book group. My personal Buddhist training focuses on personal insight and compassioi for myself and others.

Tuija Halonen
I'm Finnish and I live in the city, which is about five miles to Russia. Russia is a scary neighbor.In 1939, Russia declared war on to small Finland. Yet, we as a people have always tried to the peaceful and understanding.(my english is not so good, sorry). Is always the most important thing to pursue love and peace. And trying to understand each other. Unfortunately, I cannot donate money to the organization, because I am unemployed. But I try to help with my loving nature all humans.

Mohammad Shariful Alam
I am a development professional engaged more than 13 years in this field. Besides my regular profession, I have had involvement with different social engagement like UNV (Unite Nations Volunteer) as I am passionate about volunteerism. Presently I am involved with DISA (as CEO), a social platform inspired by volunteerism. I think Charter for Compassion is a organization among few by their objectives who are working to make/keep peace in the society by their movement. This is one of my reasons for joining with Charter for Compassion.

Philip Silk
We are all affected by what others do, even animals; vice versa, too.  Moreover we are interconnected with the rest of the universe, living and non-living.  We need to learn how to bring up our children well and how to live together in mutually rewarding ways.  Compassion is essential.

Guy Veyer
I believe that changing the world situation can only be realized by changing ourself (remembering Gandhi's quote). I believe also in the effect of the butterfly wing. I believe compassion will save the human world (and maybe the earth too).

Rabbi Norman Mendel
I joined because as a rabbi I have worked internationally to accomplish goals similar to those you have articulated through Charter.  I lived in South Africa during the apartheid era and worked there as well as in the US to effect change.

Eva Wouters
I encourage everybody who wants to make the world a better place....I love that.

Thomas Jay Oord, Ph.D., author of The Nature of Love, Defining Love, and many more books
I joined the Charter for Compassion because I think we can do better. We can be better people, and that involves treating each other better. To me, love is our ultimate imperative, and compassion is one of the most important forms of love.

Bill Matlock
The world's religions & governments have failed to bring peace & civility so it is up to the peace-loving folk to practice respect and value to all regardless of race, creed, ethnicity sexual orientation.  So I am proud to a part of this movement. Karen Armstrong is an inspiration to me.

Wim Zurlohe
My activity was inspired by the books of Karen Armstrong, in which she wrote about beliefs and conviction. My own strong belief is that compassion for “the other,” your neighbour or your friend, creates a better society and hopefully a better world. At this time, we dramatically need a better world. My suggestion is that your organisation must rely on those at a lower level in society. Bottom-up is better than top-down as a strategy for change.

Mary Spain
I joined our of admiration for the work of Karen Armstrong, out of the belief that love and compassion, more than anything else, are what is needed if our world is ever to turn its swords into ploughshares, and also to spread this message to our local school.  Looking at the world today the need for your message seems even more vital than it did when I joined.  May I wish you the success you need, the success that the world needs, if the current discord is to be healed.

Éric Le Chasseur
Je crois que nous sommes tout un chacun dans des nécessités de résister: résister pour garder sa langue, sa culture; résister contre le capitalisme ambiant, qui nous cloisonne; résister contre l'univers uniculturel anglo-saxon qui nous enveloppe, nous domine et nous dissout; etc. J'ai l'impression que c'est en défendant mes idées, en en faisant la promotion, que je parviens à participer à l'effort humain pour plus de progrès. Autant il est important de se défendre, de lutter contre ceux qui tentent de nous subordonner, de ne pas céder sous l'action de nos adversaires, autant il est important de reconnaître en ces derniers des semblables, des humains comme soi-même, animés par les mêmes passions, les mêmes composantes archaïques du cerveau. L'avenir de l'humanité dépend probablement de ce que j'appelle «une capacité de synthèse» que nous devons toutes et tous développer. Et cette synthèse ne passe pas uniquement par la tête, mais aussi par le coeur, en combattant notamment l'indifférence et en développant l'altruisme, la compassion. Ma vie n'aurait aucun sens si elle se résumait à servir mon seul «égo», mes intérêts personnels, ou ceux d'un petit groupe auquel je m'identifie... Mon identité est importante. Celle de l'Autre doit l'être tout autant. On ne peut gagner en faisant perdre... Je me suis donc engagé dans un cheminement, inspiré de celui que propose Karen Armstrong, et je dois bien admettre que ce n'est pas facile: les passions prennent tellement facilement le dessus.


How You Can Help

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We'd like to ask for your help in three ways:

  1. Send us two or three sentences explaining why you decided to become a Member of the Charter, and also give us permission to use your name in a list of people who've joined the movement in this way?
  2. Post your statement on a social media site such as FaceBook or Twitter, with this link:
    https://charterforcompassion.org/join.
  3. Think of two or three friends who share your enthusiasm for the Charter for Compassion and the movement it has inspired, and then send your friends an email recommending that they also become members of the Charter? You can send your friends this link along with your invitation:
    https://charterforcompassion.org/join.

About Us

  • charter brand transp blue mediumCharter for Compassion International provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.

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