‘Truth, compassion and respect’

Linda Bongiorno
Thursday 4 June 2020

Good morning,

As I promised, while there will not be a daily Companionship email and blogpost from now on, it will happen occasionally over the summer, to continue to foster companionship in a time of isolation.

I want to draw your attention to TruThink. This began as a show on Star Radio in the University, and is now an online interfaith platform encouraging curiosity, humility and compassion. The two students behind it write that, “We want to encourage people to think about the idea of ‘truth’ as a lens to question the underlying meaning behind what we think and to form a better understanding of the truths or worldviews we live our lives in accordance to. We want to encourage thinking in a way that informs loving, honest and inclusive action. We want to make polarisation and stereotyping a thing of the past.”

Recently they have started to ask for very brief contributions from the Chaplaincy team on particular topics. Just published is a number of responses to the question, What motivates compassion during lockdown? There are thoughts there from Barbara Davey, honorary Quaker Chaplain, Sam Pehrson, honorary Buddhist Chaplain, Sandy Edwards, honorary Humanist Chaplain, and from me. Have a look if you are interested: https://truthinkblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/29/what-do-you-think-motivates-the-pro-social-and-compassionate-behaviour-that-we-have-observed-in-people-during-lockdown/

The Chaplaincy team has now been asked to consider this question, “Does forgiving mean forgetting?” This question was prompted by recent events in Minneapolis and across the United States, the death of George Floyd, subsequent protests over racial injustice and the administration’s responses.

This is a huge question, and all our responses will be partial and imperfect. And our deadline is this coming Monday. But it is a question worth asking, among many at this time.

It also strikes me that what we have said about compassion may also have something to say in respect of more recent events in the US. Covid-19 may be a new virus, but its impact in societies and across the world has brought to light much older issues – not least around poverty, access to medical care and economic security. Compassion is not only for a time of coronavirus.

And so an image from a recent walk, encouraging compassion. Walkers on the Lade Braes are invited to share nuts, seeds and fruit with birds. Black, brown, pink and white, mammal and bird, tree and soil – we all share this one, precious world.



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