Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Memoir Monday and ... Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong... In this important and thought-provoking work, Karen Armstrong—one of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world—provides an impassioned and practical guide to helping us make the world a more compassionate place.

The twelve steps she suggests begin with “Learn About Compassion,” and close with “Love Your Enemies.” In between, she takes up self-love, mindfulness, suffering, sympathetic joy, the limits of our knowledge of others, and “concern for everybody.” She shares concrete methods to help us cultivate and expand our capacity for compassion, and provides a reading list to encourage us to “hear one another’s narratives.” Armstrong teaches us that becoming a compassionate human being is a lifelong project and a journey filled with rewards.

The First Step: Learn About Compassion
The Second Step: Look at Your Own World
The Third Step: Compassion for Yourself
The Fourth Step: Empathy
The Fifth Step: Mindfulness
The Sixth Step: Action
The Seventh Step: How Little We Know
The Eighth Step: How Should We Speak to One Another?
The Ninth Step: Concern for Everybody
The Tenth Step: Knowledge
The Eleventh Step: Recognition
The Twelfth Step: Love Your Enemies

Not a memoir, but more of a guide by Karen Armstrong, who is best known as a  religious historian and former nun. In 2008, she won a $100,000 TED prize to spread an idea- her idea was compassion. She created the Charter for Compassion, and this book is a result of her original idea. Here is a link to her Ted Talk Wish: The Charter for Compassion.

What a wonderful idea! And to help you along with your road to compassion, Joy of Joy's Book Blog, is hosting Compassionate Sundays, where each month one of the steps will be discussed over at Joy's Blog. A gathering place where people can share their thoughts. Thanks Joy for hosting such a gathering place. You can learn more by going to Joy's Book Blog.

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