In my opinion, “crusade for compassion” is an article whose main aim is to feel the pain felt by other religions when attacked, by those who consider them as enemies. The word compassion, in this article, which is supposed to mean feeling sorry for others, is considered as making one have the feeling of what the others feel. Todd indicates that compassion is mainly the central part of all religions in the world. I think that this is the concept that the article brings out, so people could start to regard it the same the author does.
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Another aspect that becomes evident when reading the article is that it does not matter which religion one comes from, what really matters is that one has to practice compassion. For instance, despite being a Roman Catholic nun, Karen goes ahead and writes Islam books, which is not her faith. In addition, Todd indicates that every individual should show compassion day after day. In other words, I think what Todd demands is that one should do unto others what they want to be done unto them; something which I think is hard for some people to externalize.
Besides, Todd is trying to bring out the negative side of the West. He thinks that the West consists of a superficial and commonly mean culture. However, he blames it more of the media, asserting that it focuses on gossip and conflict, thereby exaggerating the negative qualities. In my opinion, Todd wants to show that the public is misinformed about the role the religious leaders play in promoting compassion.
Another indication of the negative side of the west, according to Todd, is that despite Karen being a religious affairs commentator in the West, she is more famous in other countries like Pakistan and Egypt. Additionally, he indicates that when someone from the West is friendly to people from other countries, they consider this as something new to them. Moreover, in the article, when Karen says she is overwhelmed when her speeches are covered in the front-page news in other countries, it is an indication that they are not valued in her country, or in the west, thus a negative aspect arises.
From the article, I think that it is hard for a person, especially a religious figure, to practice interfaith understanding. This is because Karen is referred to as a former Roman Catholic nun, who indicates that she either resigned from being a nun or was removed from the position when she started practising this virtue. Furthermore, being the first religious person to win the TED Prize, it is hard for her to practice this virtue.
In my opinion, Todd indicates that for everyone, despite their religion, to reach the presence of whomever they believe in, be it God, Nirvana, they must practice compassion. To Christians, compassion is the centre for Christianity; to Buddhists, despite the high rank one is in, they must come down and show compassion for every living thing; to Muslims, for one to be a believer, they must desire for their neighbour what they desire for themselves. According to the article shows that no faith is left out when compassion is considered.
Moreover, indicating that Karen hopes for religious and global leaders to practice the true art of compassion, it means that the true virtue of compassion is rarely practised. Todd indicates that showing love and compassion to others is considered more than believing, in other words, it is more important to have compassion than to believe; thus, I think the article makes it look as if compassion is the heart of religion. Lastly, as Todd indicates, I think that for compassion to be adapted and practised, it will really take a long time and lots of efforts.
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Todd, Douglas. “A crusade for compassion.” The Ottawa Citizen. 2 (2009). Print.