With the holidays and family gatherings and stress upon us, I find it altogether too easy to retreat to a very old rut called judgment. Whether it’s judging myself — “I’m too old,” “I should be in better shape,” “My house is a mess, “– or others — “They’re crazy,” “Why don’t they just….(fill in the blank),” “It’s their own fault they’re ….(fill in the blank),” it gets pretty noisy in my head. It’s as if passing judgment makes me better or immune to the pain I see all around me. My 12-step work reminds me that while some judgment, as in discernment, is necessary in ones life, sitting in judgment of ones self or others is a pretty lonely existence and a subtle but powerful act of violence. One of the entries in “The Courage to Change”, a daily devotional, says, “I used to live my life as if I were on a ladder. Everyone was either above me, to be feared and envied, or below me, to be pitied. God was way, way at the top, beyond my view. That was a hard, lonely way to live, because no two people can stand comfortably on the same rung for very long.” So, what’s the antidote to judgment?
According Spiritual Director’s International, “On November 12, author Karen Armstrong and a global group of collaborators, unveiled an international initiative to promote compassion. Armstrong is a TED [Technology, Education, Design] award winner with the following wish, ‘I wish that you would help with the creation, launch and propagation of a Charter for Compassion, crafted by a group of leading inspirational thinkers from the three Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and based on the fundamental principles of universal justice and respect.’” This Utube video better explains what she’s up to. Charter for Compassion
How can you be committed to compassion?