Concerned and committed people from varied walks of Ridgefield life — religious folks, educators, sports coaches, town officials and politicians, moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas and young people looking toward tomorrow— will be gathering Sunday to begin an ambitious and noble project.
They want to make Ridgefield a more compassionate town. They want Ridgefield to join with other communities, and goodhearted people everywhere, in an effort to start making the world better. Day by day, step by step.
And they want Ridgefield to sign on to something called the Charter for Compassion — the target date for signing is next May.
The Charter for Compassion is a written commitment that’s been embraced by people and communities around the world. It expresses worthy sentiments — beautiful sentiments. It’s inclusive of people with wide-ranging faiths and beliefs.
It manages all this by focusing on one thing — compassion, treating all people with empathy and respect and kindness. As the charter itself states in its opening sentence: “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.”
So, it basically works for everybody.
What these folks envision is a continuous and growing effort to bring more compassion into our troubled globe.
It’s idealistic, sure.
But the charter’s ideal is down to earth. It’s the old golden rule about treating others as you’d like them to treat you.
This is simplicity itself, and the soul of goodness.
People don’t always live up to ideals. This compassion effort got started in town after some anti-Semitism and racism were found in graffiti and on social media.
We do have problems.
The meeting — a compassion retreat, they’re calling it —is Sunday, June 9, at Scotts Ridge Middle School. The committee invites anyone in town who’s interested, from high school age and up, to join them.
Getting involved might turn out to be quite rewarding. They’re a bunch of nice folks.
And — meeting or no meeting — a life of compassion is surely the way to live.