At the latest meeting of Belfast City Council, Councillors unanimously agreed to sign up to the Charter for Compassion – an initiative aiming to restore compassion to the core of morality, encouraging positive acceptance of cultural and religious diversity.
Expressing her delight at bringing forward the motion, Councillor Catherine Curran said the charter will ‘honour the value of every human being in Belfast’. The motion has received support from both the current and previous Lord Mayors and was seconded at the meeting by PUP Councillor John Kyle.
She added: “People across Belfast are renowned for their charm, warmth and friendly character, yet behind the happy exterior we bear the scars of a dark conflict and a legacy of suffering.
“Yet compassion is not an abstract concept – but the driving force behind the countless acts of kindness, no matter how small, that occur every day. Put simply, the Charter for Compassion reminds us how important these individual acts of kindness are and actively encourages us to refrain from inflicting pain and suffering, even towards people we consider our enemies.
“My hope is that this motion will not only connect Belfast to a global network of compassionate cities, but will codify our commitment to compassion and facilitate the citizens, communities and leaders of our city to capitalise on our shared strengths and explore the development of their own compassionate action plans – whatever form they may take.
“As the 14th Dalai Lama once said “Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.”