Education

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What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?

~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

What role does Education play in supporting the global movement for compassion?

Cultivating compassion in educational settings, and creating the kind of culture where it is a norm of student and staff behavior, may seem at first a noble ideal: a nice-to-have, something to be undertaken only when all other priorities are met. Yet we now have the evidence to show that a school’s ability to foster real learning, indeed to fulfill its fundamental purpose, depends on its ability to do just that.

More and more schools and educational organizations/groups are acting on this evidence and creating compassion-filled learning environments. Students and adults alike thrive when their social and emotional needs are met, when they feel a sense of belonging, when they feel their voices are welcomed and heard. Choosing to uphold the principles of compassion is central to a school’s ability to create a caring and inclusive culture and climate, to nurture a strong moral identity among those who walk through its doors, and to invite deep participation and learning.

What’s more, compassionate action is foundational to effective collaboration, and to advancing the common good—attributes that, in today’s increasingly connected world—are central to success. A compassionate school begins with the adults on campus walking their talk and modeling compassion to all.

How do we fulfill our responsibilities to the next generation?

We are coming to a crisis of our own making… Leaders have to take the long perspective, the seven generation perspective. Because if you take care of the future seven generations from now, you yourself will have peace. That’s because if you are protecting the future, you are protecting yourself now. You benefit immediately from that. It is not competition, it is cooperation...and the time to fight for the common good. 

~Oren Lyons

 

 

According to a recent article in The Guardian, the world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things. Yet since the dawn of civilization, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds. Clearly this is unsustainable. It is our responsibility to ourselves and the future to repair the damages we have done. As we build compassion for self, others, the earth and her animate and inanimate beings, we create a paradigm shift of thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors.

Youth leaders such as Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Xiye Bastida, Greta Thunberg and Vic Barrett, as well as individuals such as Indigenous Amazon leader Tuntiak Katan have come to the forefront of public consciousness in order to help us envision a just and sustainable future, confront our climate emergency, and discuss the emerging cross-generational, transnational movement — including people of all races, classes, and backgrounds — that is our best hope for a sustainable planet. Fortunately, there are thousands more people and organizations like these young leaders who are motivated to care for the future. The Charter for Compassion sees this on a daily basis as our list of sector partners continues to grow.

As each Charter partner works to create a more compassionate world, they are also working either consciously or tacitly toward achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. These global goals were established by the UN Development Program to address and eradicate some of the greatest challenges facing humanity, such as poverty, hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation, and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice, strong institutions, and partnership for achieving the goals by 2030. The goals are interdependent, centered around people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership, with each goal having a set of objectives and mile markers it must achieve to create a sustainable future.

In keeping with creating a sustainable future the Charter currently has a number of initiatives we are working to fulfill our responsibility to future generations. For us, one of the most significant is Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, also known as Nuclear Prayer Voices, an initiative of the United Religions Initiative Cooperation Circle and it's friends and allies worldwide that have established a community of global citizens using prayers, voices, and actions to create awareness for the urgency of nuclear disarmament. The Charter for Compassion and the United Religions Initiative have entered into a memorandum to work to confront global concerns and injustices. In addition, Voices is partnering with the Charter Peace Sector for an upcoming year-long webinar series that supports cities and communities with information from experts from around the world on how to create a nuclear free world. This program will begin in January of 2020. If you are interested in participating in this series, or want to stay informed on the subject, contact us

In the illustration above you can see other organizations with whom the Charter is working to help move towards a more equitable and secure future.  Below you will find a short explanation of each and a link to learn more and participate in the work of each.  We provide these possibilities not only for our compassionate community initiatives, but for all of our members and partners to challenge themselves in order to offer hope to our new generations.  Ironically each of us holds the key to the future.

Encuentro Mundial de Valores (Human Values Meeting)

Where would we be without values? They inform our thoughts, the words we chose to speak and those we eschew. Values prompt our actions. Without them we would be stagnant and our growth would be curtailed. Values help us create our vision for the future.

Human values help us tolerate and appreciate others.  Values allow us to overcome conflict and to live in harmony. Human values are our tools to help us work for peace in the world and heal the wounds that have been inflicted on our planet.
The Charter for Compassion works closely with our strategic partner, Encuentro Mundial de Valores (EMV)--World Values Meeting from Monterrey, Mexico. EMV is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote universal values, creating spaces for dialogue, reflection and action. In order to achieve this, it links different sectors of the community, such as government and business programs, to work on joint projects in order to promote citizen participation and achieve social transformation.
The main objective is to share projects and movements that promote social values, seeking the participation of organizations, national and international leaders.

The EMV aims to reflect and propose innovative solutions to current problems, acting in the field of Solidarity and Compassion. Each year, EMV sponsors an international conference on human values and at which global presenters share best practices. Learn more about EMV.

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons Cooperation Circle is composed of dynamic voices from across the political, professional, spiritual, and geographical spectrums who have united in a single purpose: to eliminate nuclear weapons once and for all. They recite the following prayer together:

 

 

The Beginning and the End are in your hands, O Creator of the Universe. And in our hands you have placed the fate of this planet. We, who are tested by having both creative and destructive power in our free will, turn to you in sober fear and in intoxicating hope. We ask for your guidance and to share in your imagination in our deliberations about the use of nuclear force. Help us to lift the fog of atomic darkness that hovers so pervasively over our Earth, Your Earth, so that soon all eyes may see life magnified by your pure light. Bless all of us who wait today for your Presence and who dedicate ourselves to achieve your intended peace and rightful equilibrium on Earth. In the Name of all that is holy and all that is hoped. Amen.

When a former Secretary of State, a former Secretary of Defense, several United States Ambassadors, a famous physicist, and a few friends pray each month for the elimination of nuclear weapons, it raises lots of questions. What do they know that everyone needs to know? Why are they praying? What is their prayer?

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons is part of the United Religions Initiative; an international nonprofit that brings together people of all faiths and traditions to solve the problems facing our world as a whole.

Join the Charter for Compassion by getting involved in Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons. If you are involved in a compassionate city initiative consider how your community can be in conversation with your local government in bringing this issue to the forefront of governance. Join the movement.

Sustainable Development Goals

SustainableGoals

Governments, businesses and civil society together with the United Nations have started to mobilize efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030. Universal, inclusive and indivisible, the Agenda calls for action by all countries to improve the lives of people everywhere. The Charter for Compassion has added the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to our own agenda of working with facilitating city and community initiatives and within the context of our partner sectors. As you visit the landing page of each of our partner sectors, click on the visible Sustainable Development Goals that are on display in the right-hand margin of the section. Click on the goal to learn more about it: facts and figures, goals and related references.

In 2015, countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2016, the Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force, addressing the need to limit the rise of global temperatures. Explore this site to find out more about the efforts of the UN and its partners to build a better world with no one left behind.

On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

The SDGs, also known as Global Goals, build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. The new Goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.

While the SDGs are not legally binding, governments are expected to take ownership and establish national frameworks for the achievement of the 17 Goals. Countries have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review of the progress made in implementing the Goals, which will require quality, accessible and timely data collection. Regional follow-up and review will be based on national-level analyses and contribute to follow-up and review at the global level.

Green World Campaign logoGreen World and the Charter for Compassion Compassion Tree Project

The Compassion Tree Project (CTP) starts at a local level as a symbolic representation of the commitment and responsibility to regreen the world. It then expands beyond its own location and moves to support already-existing regreening efforts around the world. The Compassion Tree Project joins us all together in a single global effort, connecting us all in our common humanity. It mobilizes us to take action to do something about devastated lands and the climate crisis. We will be planting more than bio-diversity (by ensuring the planting of only indigenous trees/plants) - we will also be planting compassion, peacemaking, and economic freedom; thereby restoring our planet’s ecological balance.

The Earth is losing trees and healthy soils. After trees are cut down, the landscape loses its fertility. Hunger and conflict grow. Biodiversity dwindles, and water supplies dry up. Degraded land hastens climate change. We have less than ten years to turn it around. But there is something we can do.

Plant more trees. Support eco-agriculture. Our holistic approach helps local people to restore living soil and biodiversity through “agro-ecology,” creating food security, rural income, and sustainable communities. Helping landscapes to thrive again “draws down” CO2 into trees, plants, and soil. It mitigates climate change and preserves a healthy planet for future generations.

761391 origInterfaith Vegan Coalition

Vegan Spirituality is evolving to meet the needs of vegans who are both ethical and spiritual. Compassion, empathy, and reverence for all living beings are essential qualities of Vegan Spirituality.

The Vedic principal of Ahimsa, trying not to harm any living being, is part of the coalition's collective history. Positive manifestation and creative visualization are tools that can enhance the personal vegan journey.

Declaration

The Interfaith Vegan Coalition declares that all life is sacred and interconnected. Our mission is to work with all faith and secular wisdom traditions to end human-caused violence, domination, and exploitation toward all beings. Finding that most traditions, at their core, encourage nonviolence, loving-kindness, and harmlessness toward all life, the Interfaith Vegan Coalition assists these traditions to bring their ideals to fruition. This includes promoting vegan living, which makes it possible for all beings to thrive and be free.

Explore vegan spirituality as a spiritual practice with other like-minded souls.

LivingRoomConvosLogoLiving Room Conversations

Living Room Conversations are a conversational bridge across issues that divide and separate us. They provide an easy structure for engaging in friendly yet meaningful conversation with those with whom we may not agree. These conversations increase understanding, reveal common ground, and sometimes even allow us to discuss possible solutions. No fancy event or skilled facilitator is needed.

Major disagreement on important issues is a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to create insurmountable divides. Living Room Conversations hopes for a world in which people who have fundamental differences of opinion and backgrounds learn to work together with respect – and even joy – to realize the vibrant future we all desire for ourselves and our families. Through applying and adapting this conversational model, it is believed that participants will build relationships that generate understanding and enable collaborative problem-solving.

Living Room Conversations can take place anywhere, which these days includes the virtual world. Video chat allows us to bring each other into our homes, with all that represents, at a scale never before imagined. Within this model, nearly 100 conversation guides on all sorts of topics that can otherwise be tense to talk about with friends, strangers, and even loved ones of differing backgrounds and political persuasions, have been developed.  Learn moreWatch the Charter's Education Institute for facilitation training on Living Room Conversations.

 

CFC Env LogoThe Seeding

The Green World Campaign ‘seeded’ this idea with its founder, Marc Barash’s vision of regreening the world over 14 years ago. The Charter for Compassion is ‘rooting’ this project through your support—our compassionate partners and cities and beyond.

Help people seed their future--and ours. WIth our local partners, we practice agoforestry to restore the ecology and economy of some of the world's poorest places. We help communities to renew and protect healthy landscapes; return barren land to fertility; nurture biodiversity; develop long-term livelihoods; and preserve cultural values.Become a part of this life-changing project and help us grow. Learn more and join the campaign.

PPPLogo webThe Peace Pledge and Youth Kindness Letter Campaign

The supreme value of loving-kindness and compassion can have an enormous positive impact on the world today. These values in action help us realize our humanity and are the foundation for necessary just policies to bring peace and stability. It is an essential birthright for all humankind to live in peace, have clean water, healthy food, shelter, education, and economic equality. It is our moral right to protect the planet that has been entrusted to us. We honor these rights and commit to sow the seeds of loving-kindness and compassion in all manifestations.

In 2014 one of the world’s spiritual elders, Dr. Johannes Witteveen, convened Sufi leaders from all over the planet to establish the Universal Sufi Council. It’s mission includes the explicit study and promotion of the universal values at the core of every major religious and faith tradition. In 2016 the Council adopted an Affirmation of Shared Values challenging all to commit to living loving kindness and compassion toward all lives as an essential value and commencing a series of pilgrimages to sacred places to inspire and emphasize the need to overcome the bigotry of religious and nationalistic prejudice with universal values. Learn more about the Peace Pledge. The Charter for Compassion and the Peace Pledge have entered into a Memo of Understanding in an effort to promote the work of each organization.

The Peace Alliance and the Charter are collaborating on a unique project, The Youth Kindness Letter Campaign. Each elderly citizen around the world is deserving of attention, care and compassion. Each elderly person has lived a long life filled with moments of difficulty, happiness, success, failure and sorrow, and deserves to be honored for their life experiences and the wisdom they can share with those younger than themselves. Too often we forget our elderly. Whether an elderly person is a parent or not they can be neglected, alone or ignored. The Youth Kindness Letter Campaign is an opportunity for our younger citizens to show our older citizens tangible kindness. This act of kindness is a win-win for both the elderly and youth. Learn more about the campaign.

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