The Vital Concept of the 21st Century
January 15, 2013 by
Categories: Human

In the past, we have written about the role of compassion and empathy – the importance of it and how it works. Here is a video that explains the concept even further – short, sweet, and to the point.


One of the major components of empathy is compassion, and I have loved reading the articles from scholars and empathizers around the world who choose compassion over hate and ignorance. The Charter for Compassion, lead by Karen Armstrong, continue to share these efforts. They shared 3 questions to ask as we try to understand the violence that is happening around the world and in our own country.

  1. What do you feel when you see your own sacred traditions, your heroes, your national symbols, your flags, embassies and their personnel attacked and insulted?
  2. And how do you carry that through to your assessment of the “other side” of this conflict?
  3. Try to put yourself in the position of the “other side” ~ as the compassionate ethos demands ~ and ask yourself “How much do I really know about their history of pain, achievement, oppression, disappointment, fear, idealism, and aspiration ~ all of which, on both sides, have contributed to this violence?

Karen Armstrong explains, that if you cannot answer question 3, then begin to access your ability for empathy. Find the answers to that question before judging, criticizing, or responding with violence of your own.

Though it can be difficult to view the world from another’s eyes, the benefits are well worth it.

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