Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life ~ by Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong won the 2008 TED Prize and with it her "wish to change the world."  Her goal was to create a Charter for Compassion.  You can view the video of her "TED Prize Wish" on the Charter for Compassion homepage (on the right side of the page).  Thousands of people contributed to the process and the Charter was unveiled around the world in November 2009.  I'm one of the original signers.  The organization has inspired community-based acts of compassion all over the world.

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life ~ by Karen Armstrong, 2010

In this important and thought-provoking work, Karen Armstrong — one of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world — provides an impassioned and practical guide to helping us make the world a more compassionate place.  The twelve steps she suggests are listed below.  She shares concrete methods to help us cultivate and expand our capacity for compassion and provides a reading list to encourage us to “hear one another’s narratives.”  She teaches us that becoming a compassionate human being is a lifelong project and a journey filled with rewards.
The First Step ~ Learn About Compassion
The Second Step ~ Look at Your Own World
The Third Step ~ Compassion for Yourself
The Fourth Step ~ Empathy
The Fifth Step ~ Mindfulness
The Sixth Step ~ Action
The Seventh Step ~ How Little We Know
The Eighth Step ~ How Should We Speak to One Another?
The Ninth Step ~ Concern for Everybody
The Tenth Step ~ Knowledge
The Eleventh Step ~ Recognition
The Twelfth Step ~ Love Your Enemies
I have set up my Book Buddies blog to study this book by taking one step a month.  Each month, I'll post something about that chapter, and our discussion will be in the comments on that month's post.  Click to leave a comment on the Book Buddies post, if you want to study with us.  You are welcome to join us, even if you don't get the book, since this is an action-based study (see the next paragraph).  You will, of course, learn even more from reading the book.

The goal of this study is not to "learn about" compassion, but to PRACTICE compassion.  The Charter for Compassion has provided an organizer's guide which includes discussion questions, but also includes ACTIONS for each of the twelve sections.  In other words, we will practice being compassionate during the month we discuss each step.


Joy said...

I just started a similar project -- I'm looking forward to having the Book Buddies posts as a resource!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Hi, Joy. I'm glad you found this post and the Book Buddies. If you leave a comment on the Book Buddies blog, I'll discuss compassion with you. Maybe Shirley will, too.

For others who run across this post, you can also check out what the Book Buddies said about Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life during our discussion by clicking on this link:

Bonnie Jacobs said...

I didn't think to note (back in 2014) that RevGalsBlogPals included this post in the "First Wednesday Festival of 2014" as one of the goals of seven RevGals. Here's the link: