At its June 11 meeting, Sooke Council unanimously passed a motion “that council endorse the Charter for Compassion, by individually signing affirmations.”
The council also supported, without a motion, a proposal to have interested Sooke groups and individuals develop a Compassion Action Plan which would enable Sooke to be recognized by the Charter for Compassion International Organization as a Compassionate Community.
The charter, created in 2009 by British scholar Karen Armstrong in association with global leaders from all faith traditions, is founded on the golden rule “to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves … and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.”
This resolution was the result of a presentation by Mark Ziegler on behalf of the Sooke Region Multi Belief Initiative, a working group of Transition Sooke, which has begun promoting the affirmation of the Charter by individuals and groups in the Sooke region.
To date 15 of the candidates have signed the Charter for Compassion.
This election presents an excellent opportunity for these people to consciously apply the principles of compassion and for us, as community members, to support them. By treating everyone with dignity and respect, we can all demonstrate that we are indeed a compassionate community.
In our increasingly polarized world, personal attacks on individuals running for public office have become commonplace and sadly, this negative adversarial approach by competing individuals and their supporters has proven to be effective with the voting public.
However, this divisive tactic foments discord in our community, pits people against each other and tears at the social and moral fabric of the community that is essential for developing a more unified, caring and compassionate society.
The complexity of the issues facing our community often require cooperation and support from other levels of government and are not easily addressed by simple solutions.
Rather than demanding that those who are running for election make promises they cannot keep when faced with the realities of governance, let us look to the qualities of character and the values expressed and demonstrated by the candidates.
We have the bounty of living in a beautiful community with many individuals and community organizations working for the betterment of our district. By setting the welfare of the community above personal self-interest, we can build on the good works already being provided to move forward together in unity to address the challenges and opportunities facing our community.
Submitted by the Sooke Region Multi Belief Initiative: Eric ‘Hum’ Anderson, Jeff Bateman, Don Brown, Rick Eby, Bruce Hegerat, Troi Leonard, Sifu Koshin Moonfist, Phil Rossner, Michael Tacon and Mark Ziegler.