Inspiration: Essays & Musings

Back to Basics: Sympathy, Empathy, Compassion

Back to Basics: Sympathy, Empathy, Compassion

I admit it -- I get a little sloppy when I'm talking about compassion, sometimes conflating it with empathy or even sympathy. They aren't exactly the same. Sympathy comes from Middle French sympathie, from Late Latin sympathia, from Ancient Greek συμπάθεια...

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The Ethic of Reciprocals

The Ethic of Reciprocals

Some have called the Golden Rule, the heart of the Charter for Compassion, the ethic of reciprocity. Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself. Reciprocity, according to the dictionary, means mutual, uniformly felt or done by each party towards the other or...

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The Language of Us and Them

The Language of Us and Them

Periodically, Slate has been running a piece about American events written using the tone and language US reporters typically employ when writing about events elsewhere. It's disconcerting, enlightening and in a very direct way, about compassion. The latest is about...

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Facts are Like Cows

Facts are Like Cows

We publish a series of classic fiction books that focus on particular peace & justice topics. Most are short stories, but End of the Line is an anthology of five short novels about the death penalty. As I re-read my introduction to the book -- about the impact...

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Feral Cats and Compassion

Feral Cats and Compassion

Cathy Rosenthal writes a column about animals for the San Antonio Express-News. Today she answered a compassionate question about the care and feeding of feral cats. Compassion moves us to feed them. Knowledge informs us that there is a better solution: Dear Cathy: My...

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Compassion And The Not-So-Middle Class

Compassion And The Not-So-Middle Class

NYT columnist / Princeton economist Paul Krugman recently wrote about the middle class in a way that has relevance to compassion. The vast majority of people in the US — 91% according to a Pew Research poll — identify themselves as being middle class, he wrote. The...

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My Heart Grew Three Sizes

My Heart Grew Three Sizes

Guest Post by Susan Smylie I attended a Compassion San Antonio event today, Musical Bridges Around the World Amal concert, a lovely performance by two concert pianists from Israel and Palestine, Bishara Haroni and Yaron Kohlberg. Before the concert began, the Charter...

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Pete and Re-Pete After Me

Pete and Re-Pete After Me

My hero, the folksinger and activist Pete Seeger, died yesterday at the age of 94. Here's an example of his subversive attraction: I first learned his songs at Girl Scout camp, when I was 10. Songs about peace, about civil rights, about the dignity of labor. Songs...

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