Please see below key recent compassion-related developments.
"Nobody foresaw the world shortage of respect"1, so compassion and empathy are perhaps our best responses to the growing realisation that even as we watch each other post and connect and feed and comment and tweet, what goes on in other people's heads is becoming ever more puzzling.
The term "compassion" has fallen out of touch with reality, argued journalist Krista Tippett, who deconstructs the meaning of compassion through stories, and proposes a new definition, linking it with kindness, "curiosity without assumptions", empathy, forgiveness, beauty, generosity and presence.
So let's find and honour and reward meaning-makers and empathisers. Welcome as they are, charters of compassion are just the start - perhaps we need open-source universities of the intimate, "where all generations can exchange experience, culture and hope".2
Karen Armstrong, making her wish when accepting her TED Prize, called for a global charter of compassion. Her call for universal outreach chimes well with the idea of xenophilia. She believes that we can all follow the golden rule (i.e "do unto others...), but that we need to now move beyond mere toleration of the other, towards active appreciation of the other.
Hers is a fine idea, as long as (a) it can be secular/humanist as well as religious in tone and (b) it doesn't just evolve from a wish into a wishlist - i.e. it will need to specify what tangible benefits might adopting the charter accrue to individuals and societies.
Strangers can "see" a person's trustworthy genes through their behaviours, suggested a new study, which found that a single genetic change makes a person seem more compassionate and kind to others.
Halcyon would be keen to partner with interested parties to help develop, communicate and roll out similar charters for all the values that we cover.
1. Theodore Zeldin, Intimate History of Humanity, p28;
2. Intimate History of Humanity, p31