A sincere Merry Christmas to those special people who make up The Greater Bancroft Area and make this place a highly desired and wonderful place to live and work. As you contemplate the year past and the year ahead, I hope your dreams will be fulfilled and your health is well and that your spirit overflows! A special thanks to my clients and colleagues who I have had the pleasure of working with in 2013 for fantastic and meaningful results. Additional thanks to the many service providers who strive to make our towns, streets and municipalities safe and clean and beautiful for us to enjoy. To my family, who always offer the greatest support and joy, thank you! Be safe everyone during your travels and rejoice!
This year, consider the Charter for Compassion as you contemplate the spirit of this season and the new year to come!
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.
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