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Compassion – Interfaith’s Common Ground


Compassion – Interfaith’s Common Ground

by Paul Chaffee

In preparing each month’s TIO, we typically invite two or three more contributors than we usually publish, on the safe assumption that we’ll lose two or three good pieces that never get submitted for one reason or another. The theme of embracing compassion, though, opened the floodgates. Contributors were happy to get invited to write and came through on deadline, one after another. Compassion, indeed, seems to be the truest common ground occupied by all traditions that map the meaning of our lives, spiritual, indigenous, religious, and secular.

Marcus Braybrooke, Matthew Fox, and Lama Tsomo open up this month’s discussion by offering some context, some definition to what is meant by the word compassion. Then a Sikh, a Muslim, a Roman Catholic, a secular humanist, and a Wiccan explore what is meant by compassionate action.

Photo:    US Air Force

The rest of the issue is educational in the sense that each story teaches us about the sensitivities and skills-sets that empower living compassionately, starting with Vicki Garlock’s virtual workshop on ways to teach kids (and ourselves) more about compassion.

At the end, Ruth Broyde Sharone shines a bright light on what can seem like dark, dismal times. To conclude, Karimah Stauch’s poetic cry from the heart reaches out to all who spend their time and energy engendering a more compassionate global community.

In addition to the articles on compassion this month, you’ll find a report on the recent addition, the “Fifth Directive,” made to the foundational interfaith document, Towards a Global Ethic – An Initial Declaration. If your gig is about interfaith, you need to know about this important addition to the Global Ethic. It focuses on caring for the Earth and collaborating as climate activists. Also, Cody Neilson notes how colleges and universities offer superb environments for learning to build interfaith relationships, if only campuses would take better advantage of the fact.

Header Photo: Max Pixel