Charter for Compassion

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    I subscribe to a wonderful little journal called Sacred Journey. In their winter 2010 edition, they published a “Charter for Compassion” that was developed in 2009 by religious leaders around the world. In reading it, I felt there were parts that could apply to our work. Many teams create team charters for how they will work with one another. Leadership groups often develop leadership principles by which they will base their decisions and actions. How would you work differently if you created a charter for aligning your spiritual principles with your work?

    Here are some portions of the Charter for Compassion.

    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 suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and put another there, and to honor the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exceptions, 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 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.

    Who would you be if you committed to this charter? Sit with the ideas from this charter and see how it resonates with you. Find one thing different that you can do at work to align yourself with an idea expressed here. In doing so, you’ll bring about a shift in your work and yourself. Perhaps even your co-workers, clients and business partners will feel this shift as well.

    To read the full charter or start a reading group on these ideas, visit



    For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.


    Linda is an author, speaker, coach, and consultant. Go to her website to read more about her work, view video clips of her talks, and find out more about her book “Path for Greatness: Spirituality at Work” The paperback version is available on Amazon. The pdf version of Path for Greatness is available for download from her website. ALSO, Linda’s new book, “Staying Grounded in Shifting Sand” is now available on her website as pdf. The paperback version will be released by Balboa Press sometime before the end of the year. Stay tuned!