Sydney film-maker launches compassion campaign

December 7, 2009 by Henry Benjamin
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Sydney film-maker Danielle Lauren has launched a campaign to secure 100,000 Aussie signatures for the world-wide Charter of Compassion.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions currently in session in Melbourne was the launching pad for the campaign, the motto of which is “Treat Others Like You Would Wish To Be Treated”.

CHARTERforcompassionlauren

Danielle Lauren holds the Charter

27-yr-old activist Lauren said: “I call on all Australians to sign the Charter and proactively spread the message of compassion”.

The Charter has already received affirmation from Archbishop Tutu, musician Peter Gabriel, Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, the Dalai Lama, actor Forest Whitaker and Virgin chief Sir Richard Branson.

The Charter reads:

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others – even our enemies – is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge

that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~

to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings, even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

To participate in the campaign go to www.charterforcompassion.org

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