Monday, January 7, 2013

The greatness of a nation...

Our ability to embrace compassion and empathy for those who share our world, to treat all members - even the least ranking and non-human members - with respect, is central to our wellbeing. Only when able to overcome the limitations of our compassion will we fully develop our potential and the greatness that is possible of a human(e) community. And there is no better place to learn the practice of compassion than with the lowest ranking of our community members - the animals that share our world.

Imagine a community that embraces compassion for life at the foundation, and that honors and promotes the safety and wellbeing of its members by building an ethic of personal responsibility, accountability, and informed decision-making.

As science continues to overrule the conventional assumptions about what makes humans different from other animals - a characteristic to be celebrated in humans is their amazing capacity for learning, problem-solving, and above all, compassion. Non-human animals also exhibit these traits - but humans possess the greatest capacity to transform our world through compassion and problem-solving.

Some believe that we're in transition from an "age of information" to an "age of humanity" or an "age of compassion". Major successes occur routinely in efforts to mobilize and advance our compassionate engagement with our world. Organizations like the Institute for Humane Education embrace and share solutions for advancement in compassion in all areas of human activity. The Humane Society of the United States, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and numerous other organizations have seen great success in advancing social awareness and progress towards compassion for the animals in our world. Major religions are increasingly recognizing and embracing the importance of compassion - not only for humans but for all of God's creation: World's Major Religions Call for Compassion for Animals.

While the challenges remain great, the hope for a compassionate world is alive and well and your engagement in its progress is invited and celebrated! Please join us and others as we work together to continue to share and build compassion for animals and people in our own local communities here in Central Virginia.