Compassion: Ethics for a Whole World
We live in a time of rapid change. The experience of a worldwide pandemic is unsettling and has given us pause. The world is not as safe as it once seemed. We see divisions among people, hostility toward those who are different from us, and uncertainty about the future health of our planet. We also witness the best of humanity and see countless people who not only envision a better world, but whose actions bear witnesses to the best of humanity. What is it that motivates us to selfless or selfish action? Is there a common thread that moves us toward being our best self? Compassion in its many forms is a powerful force for good in the world. Can it change us? Can it save us? Through lectures, videos, readings, and class discussion, we will explore what it means to be human, what unites us, and how we can create a world that has compassion as its compass and promise. The inspiration for this course was from a course called Compassion Integrity Training and relies heavily on the following sources: The Road to Character by David Brooks, Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World by his Holiness The Dalai Lama, and Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong. The Charter for Compassion will be used as the starting point for our exploration.
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