During the early days of November, I began some special time dedicated to reflecting about my relationship with compassion and wisdom, about the Charter for Compassion. My longing is to be ever mindful of compassion as a grace to myself and a gift to share with others.
Knowing that as I live in the waning years of life, my desire is to live compassion to its fullest. To offer love, compassion and wisdom to all without exception, means to be open to suffering. Without a doubt, compassion has its highs and lows: some moments my heart readily opens, and then there are moments when I have to nudge it — sometimes gently, sometimes intensely, sometimes my heart fails to open.
Suddenly on November 8, my heart and soul went into anguish as I heard of the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California — 12 of our sisters and brothers were killed, about 21 others were injured. This was the 307 mass shooting in 311 days during 2018. A previous mass shooting occurred on October 27 in Pittsburgh, killing 12 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Sorrow upon sorrow engulfs us.
What has happened to the Golden Rule? “Treat others and the planet as you would like to be treated.” Other questions come: who is really safe from violence? Thinking about our world: is anyone safe in our global community? Uncertainty seems to be the norm of our lives. How do we live together in these uncertain times? Can we be free enough to allow our hearts of compassion to freely flow without fear, to embrace ourselves and all living creatures near and far? Let’s help each other be free!
As I began this time of reflecting on my relationship with the Charter for Compassion, I was aware that its ninth anniversary was approaching: November 12 2009 – November 12, 2018. I wondered about how many people belong to the Charter? The best estimate given is over two million.
During November 2017 preparation for the tenth anniversary began with a campaign to get one million new affirmations to the Charter for Compassion by November 12, 2019, commemorating its tenth year. Since then, we have approximately 3310 new members. Perhaps you would like to join the Charter for Compassion. Visit: https://charterforcompassion.org/
With the approval of its Board of Directors, the Christine Center became a member of the Charter for Compassion on October 24, 2014. As we celebrate our fourth anniversary, we invite you to share your compassionate reflections by visiting Our Circle of Compassion on our website: www.christinecenter.org
We close with these words from Karen Armstrong who initiated the Charter for Compassion:
“In compassion, when we feel with the other,
we dethrone ourselves from the center of our world
and we put another person there.”