In common with 80 cities (and growing) we're hoping that London will become the 1st City in England to endorse the 'Charter for Compassion'. This will enable the rapid development of compassion-based programs while supporting a growing culture of compassion that fosters positive, effective, communities and caring shifts in interpersonal relationships.
Why is compassion important? Humans are made for caring for others and responding to care. Research clearly shows that it's central to health and happiness. We can also clearly see that in its absence, society as a whole suffers greatly.
It emerges from a recognition of the inter-connected nature of society and our shared basic humanity.
Its the foundation for the mutual co-operation needed to promote peace, cultural and religious harmony and the collective glue needed for humanity to tackle the larger issues facing us including global warming and pollution.
Many great social changes have been effected through its emergence and power. It's now also regarded as a skill that can be cultivated, much like how we can develop muscles when we train in the gym.
Compassion is also good for us having major impacts on a range of physiological and psychological processes, including immune, cardiovascular stress and recovery processes.
It's the foundation of ethical decision making, being based in the principle of 'treating others as we wish to be treated'. Research also highlights that high performance in workplaces is actually socially motivated and that compassion is skill that can be developed - factors highly overlooked.
What is compassion? It is a mental state, endowed with a sense of concern that focuses on other beings and wishes for us all to be relieved of all suffering. It's rooted in a deep sense of inter-connectedness with others and our environment.
Compassion consists of 3 components:
Perception of other's suffering (thinking)
A feeling of concern (feeling)
A wish and activity to see that suffering relieved (moving to relieve the suffering)
What compassion isn’t? Compassion isn’t pity, or based on attachment and is not the same as an empathic feeling of others pain. It's also not just wishful thinking and ultimately it's not conditional.
Compassion is a long-range solution that has positive influences on our society, our environment and our economy. It stabilizes our lives and the lives of others.
For these reasons we wish London to endorse the charter for compassion.
This will be used as a prompt to include a 10 year plan to integrate compassion in the development of the city.