City of Tucson

Compassionate City Resolution

WHEREAS, compassion is a unifying value and ideal that guides and compels people of all backgrounds, perspectives, creeds, and cultures to treat all living beings with equity, civility, respect, and justice; and

WHEREAS, we acknowledge our responsibility to make compassion a clear and empowering force for children, families, neighborhoods, and communities; and

WHEREAS, compassionate actions and policies produce positive benefits in all sectors of civic and community life, including safety, education, religion, public health, business, politics, and international relations; and

WHEREAS, Tucson residents are a diverse spectrum of racial, ethnic, cultural, social, and religious groups of all ages who demonstrate compassion in their homes, schools, businesses, community organizations, and border areas; and

WHEREAS, Tucson’s compassion and resilience was never more powerfully expressed than in the tragedy caused by the shootings of 19 of its citizens on January 8, 2011; and

WHEREAS, there are still many instances where individuals and groups fail to live compassionately and with civility thus reaffirming our commitment to broadening compassion in all sectors of our community; and

WHEREAS, Tucson and Arizona have previously demonstrated their commitments to compassion through the 2011 Tucson Mayor's Accord for Civility adopted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Arizona congressional delegation, and through the 2003 resolution of Arizona as a Golden Rule State by the Arizona legislature; and

WHEREAS, the International Campaign for Compassionate Communities Initiative is a global network of 258 cities, including Washington, D.C., that challenges its partners to make the ethic of reciprocity (i.e., Golden Rule) the central moral principle in all sectors of public life including government, education, religion, business, law enforcement, healthcare and nonprofit organizations; and

WHEREAS, joining the Compassionate Communities Initiative deepens the quality and commitment of Tucson in affirming and stimulating compassion in community services, projects, and policies,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Tucson City Council and Mayor hereby affirm the Charter for Compassion and authorize Tucson to be registered with the International Campaign for Compassionate Communities Initiative in which citizens, government, and institutions work together to embrace and apply compassionate solutions and encourage community service to meet the needs of families, friends, communities, and neighbors.

Tucson is officially a Compassionate City!

The best idea humanity has ever had…

The Charter for Compassion is a document that transcends religious, ideological, and national differences. Supported by leading thinkers from many traditions, the Charter activates the Golden Rule around the world.

The Charter for Compassion is a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life. Compassion is the principled determination to put ourselves in the shoes of the other, and lies at the heart of all religious and ethical systems.

The text of the Charter for Compassion:

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

If you represent an institution, organization, or community interested in signing the Charter, please visit the Charter for Compassion web site.