Compassion and the Interdependence of Peace

karin lofthus carrington and susan griffin

in Transforming Terror

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780520251021
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520949454 | DOI:
Compassion and the Interdependence of Peace

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Most religions teach compassion. Yet when talk about national security gets serious, the power of this emotion to change events is usually underestimated if not dismissed. But though at times compassion may be consigned to a region of fantasy where only unrealistic hopes and goals dwell, it is firmly based in reality. Indeed, empathy is hard-wired into human nature. Along with compassion, forgiveness can play a significant role in ending conflicts. To harbor resentments and nurture rage over conflicts that have occurred in the past impedes mutual compassion and thus peace. (Indeed, the word “terror” gained its first political meaning when the French Revolution became obsessed with revenge.) Yet when crimes have not been subjected to justice, forgiveness can feel like denial. This chapter includes essays on compassion, the interdependence of peace, forgiving, and forgetting; poems by Alice Walker and Czeslaw Milosz; and discussion of sustainability, security, and the roots of terrorism.

Keywords: Alice Walker; Czeslaw Milosz; sustainability; security; terrorism; compassion; peace; forgiveness; terror

Chapter.  16169 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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