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«''Don't do to others what you would not like them to do to you.'' Look into your own heart, discover what it is that gives you pain, and then refuse, under any circomstance, whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else. This is the Golden rule. This is the source of all morality. We should also be acutely aware of the centrality of compassion, in all the major world faiths. […] ou dethrone yourself from the center of your world, put another there and you transcend yourself; it brings you into the presence of what is beeing called God, Nirvana, Rama, Tao» (Karen Armstrong, transcript of a talk).

Compassion would be no more than tolerance were it not for its added desire for the good of the other: that first draft of love. Thus, compassion reinforces belonging, while tolerance may fade into indifference by limiting itself to a respect for rights. Compassion also involves not only an appreciation of difference, but a concern for the other that increases with their vulnerability: the greater their fragility, the greater our compassion must be. Indeed, our character will be measured by the extent of our adherence to this unwritten rule.

Source : 1001 Drawings (website)

Wendell Berry
What follows here is an original and inspiring perspective on belonging. It is that of Wendell Berry – poet, essayist, and, it must be said, sage: a wise man. In Life is a Miracle, this friend of the earth and of human beings, shows us how imagination, which he links to art, is a condition of compassion and hence of belonging, both for those who feel it and for those who are its object. But...
In the centre of Magog, a working-class town in the Estrie region of Quebec, near Lake Memphremagog, where the multi-millionaires of Québec gather, there is a modest business, a smoke den and a restaurant, frequented by neighbourhood workers who find food and a warm home there. They also used to be able to buy lottery tickets there, until the day Loto Quebec withdrew the owners’ license....
On February 28, 2008 Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize and made a wish: to help creating, launching and disseminating a Charter for Compassion. Since that day, thousands of people have contributed to the process so that on November 12, 2009 the Charter was unveiled to the world. Listen to the talk.

Compassion of Achilles

Compassion of Achilles for Hector's father, Priam. The Illiad by Homer: Book XXIV

«I am now come to the ships of the Achaeans to ransom his body (Hector's) from you with a great ransom.

Fear, O Achilles, the wrath of heaven; think on your own father and have compassion upon me, who am the more pitiable, for I have steeled myself as no man yet has ever steeled himself before me, and have raised to my lips the hand of him who slew my son.


Thus spoke Priam, and the heart of Achilles yearned as he bethought him of his father. He took the old man's hand and moved him gently away. The two wept bitterly--Priam, as he lay at Achilles' feet, weeping for Hector, and Achilles now for his father and now for Patroclous, till the house was filled with their lamentation. But when Achilles was now sated with grief and had unburthened the bitterness of his sorrow, he left his seat and raised the old man by the hand, in pity for his white hair and bear.»


Identity ResponsibilityCompassionConsistencyReciprocityHospitalityObligationsTrustInclusion and Respect for DifferencesForgivenessCourageFriendshipLove



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Jacques Dufresne's

The editor of L'Encyclopédie de L'Agora and well known newspaper chronicler and philosopher, analyses actuality through the looking glass of Belonging.
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