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Published: Friday, 5/9/2014


Compassion city

The “Charter of Compassion” is based on the principle that people should treat others as they would like to be treated — that is, the Golden Rule. The concept works, and should be embraced throughout greater Toledo.

Last month, Toledo was officially designated a compassionate community by Compassionate Action Network International. The designation is part of a global campaign started in 2009 that encourages people to follow the Golden Rule and to apply compassion in a city’s conduct.

Greater Toledo — the first geographic region to join the movement — is one of 35 cities or neighborhoods in eight countries to become formal members. It is the second Ohio location, after Cincinnati.

City officials, including Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins and City Council President Paula Hicks-Hudson, have signed the charter. Now it’s up to Toledoans to use the designation as an impetus to improve daily interactions with each other.

Local campaign organizers might want to consider collaborating with the Toledo Region Branding Initiative. Last month, the branding group released a new tag line: “It matters where you make it.” The new logo includes the word “Toledo” and a green arrow, signifying progress and moving forward.

The messages are closely aligned. It’s easy to envision synergy between these two groups to improve Toledo.

The Charter of Compassion reads in part: “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.”

The beauty of this charter is that there are no rules except to be good to one another. That could mean being peaceful neighbors who keep music down or attentive drivers who slow down when someone is crossing the street.

Maybe it’s about learning tolerance of those who are not of the same ethnicity or religion or volunteering at the soup kitchen to help those who are less fortunate than you. Do unto others ...

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