by Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson
What kind of society do we want to be?
This is a question I ask audiences of undergraduate students, law school students, faith communities — everywhere I can. The top two answers I hear every time: compassionate and just.
In his Nobel lecture in 1964, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A great nation is a compassionate nation.” According to the Dalai Lama XIV, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”
The wisdom and truth of these words from these two great spiritual leaders has become apparent as we have been confronted simultaneously with multiple crises: a public health pandemic, abysmal leadership from government officials, mounting economic insecurity, and the shredding of the veil of racism. The connective tissue of these crises has been the lack of compassion — “compassionlessness” is another pandemic being uncovered.
Since 1984, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has been offering a workshop. The initial name and focus of the workshop, “All Options Counseling for Reproductive Decisions,” was offered to clergy from different faith traditions. In 2017, both the name and focus of the workshop was expanded to “Compassion Care for Reproductive Decisions and Loss.” Participants for this expanded workshop now include clergy, health care workers, social workers, legal professionals, and others. As this workshop has focused on compassion as the core for how all services should be provided to individuals in the midst of reproductive decisions and loss, it serves as the inspiration for a special new offering from RCRC: Compassion School.
A free virtual learning opportunity, Compassion School is open to anyone and everyone who longs for a more compassionate and just society, and who is ready to help build toward that society.
Our Compassion School course will begin Monday, September 14, 2020 and feature social media posts, informational and inspirational videos, links to key research about how to activate compassion for justice, and more.
Join us to learn more about what you can do to help us become the society we all need. Compassion is not merely a nicety of polite social behavior — it is a necessity for our collective survival.